More than 150,000 National Water Commission (NWC) customers in Kingston and St Andrew as well as in Portmore and Spanish Town, St Catherine, are set to benefit from improved water supply as the state-owned utility company constructs a new plant.
The US$77 million project, which is to be constructed in Content, St Catherine, will facilitate the distribution of an additional 15 million imperial gallons of water daily.
The plant, which is expected to be completed in two years, is being built and operated through a public-private partnership between the NWC and Rio Cobre Water Limited, which is a consortium that includes Vinci Construction Grand Projects, Jamaica Producers, and Eppley Limited.
The agreement between the NWC and the parties was signed Wednesday.
Describing the new water treatment plant as transformational development, NWC’s Chairman Michael Shaw said it will address the increased demand for potable water in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) amid the establishment of new commercial entities and residential communities.
The NWC is required to supply approximately 55 million imperial gallons of water daily to meet the needs of its customers in the KMA.
However, only 28 million imperial gallons are available for distribution during the dry season.
The new plant will reduce the need for water trucking and water restrictions in affected areas.
“This movement of water back into the city, back where the bulk of our citizens reside, is going to be a game-changer,” Shaw declared.
The project is being financed through Sagicor Investments and Sagicor Bank and its president and CEO Christopher Zacca emphasised his commitment to the project.
“This is a complex project, and these are complex times in the financial markets, and to deliver this project, it will take all of us stakeholders continuing to work together assiduously. Water is life. Literally but it is also the lifeblood of our nation’s growth and development, and make no mistake, we must get this done, and we will get this done,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness commended the NWC for continuing to extend its utility footprint.
“There is a view that the NWC isn’t doing anything,” he said.
“Right across Jamaica, in every parish, the NWC is increasing its utility footprints, meaning that it is providing potable water to a large number of residents, if it is not directly into their homes, it is within 100 metres of their homes.”
– Sashana Small