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BWSL Will Take Over San Pedro’s Failing Water Supply #532523
09/29/18 04:35 AM
09/29/18 04:35 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 61,709
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

In our coverage of today's House Meeting - you've already seen all the stuff the members argued about - but one thing they did agree on was the 17 million dollar loan guarantee for the South Ambergris Caye Water and Sewerage Expansion project.

If you don't live on the island - you might now know it, but San Pedro has serious water shortages - especially during peak visitor periods such as Easter. The loan fund from the CDB will be for BWSL to buy over the island's water company - Consolidated Water Belize Limited and upgrade the water supply.

The acting Prime Minister explained:...

Hon. Patrick Faber- Acting Prime Minister
"This will benefit tremendously the residents of the Ambergris Caye. We have in the galleries the chairman of the Belize Water Services Ltd. of Belize and the Chairman assures me, madam speaker, that there is a lot that is being spent right now. And the Belizean people must know that the consolidated company, Consolidated Water Ltd, is a private entity now and it charges the BWSL a significant amount of money to provide water and sewage services to the residents of Ambergris Caye. I am told it is about $600 thousand on a monthly basis, madam speaker. Imagine when the BWSL, which is owned by the government, owns now this water system and in fact improves the water system. Every good Belizean knows, especially around Easter time when you go to San Pedro you have to be rationing off the water because the capacity of the water system there is not able to hold all the desires. You can't shower every day, you have to shower every other day; around Easter time in San Pedro. But with the kind of investments that this loan will make for BWSL, madam speaker, the people of the entire Ambergris Caye, I am told, will benefit."

The loan is being undertaken by BWS with Government as the Guarantor.

Channel 7

8.5 million US dollars for San Pedro WASA

The CDB funded Belize Water Services Limited Loan for 8.5 million US dollars is to purchase the shares of Consolidated Water Belize Limited, expand the existing water treatment plant; retrofit the San Pedro water and sewage system; supply and install water distribution pipelines; water transmission mains; sewage collection pipelines; water service connections; and sewer connections; and supply and installation of a 41 kilowatt photovoltaic generation system. And though this loan motion had support of the Government and the Opposition, there was still organized chaos in the House.

Acting Prime Minister Patrick Faber: “Madam Speaker this motion has the recommendation of the Cabinet. I recognize the honorable Leader of the Opposition. Madam Speaker I certainly have no issue in providing and supporting the government’s request that we give a guarantee for this loan but maybe this would be good opportunity since WASA is asking from the government  a guarantee so they can get his $8.5 million US to do a much needed expansion for water in San Pedro. Maybe that would be a good opportunity for us then to ask WASA to work with us with the Fire Hydrants because we have massive problems with fire hydrant problem in this country, for instance in Orange Walk it was found out that the Fire Hydrant that’s right in front of the house that it was closed of when WASA…”

Acting Prime Minister Patrick Faber: Madam Speaker the point of order, that matter has nothing to do with this. The members on that other side has ample enough opportunity at the end of the meeting to rise on matters of National  importance and they are free to do so at the point.”

Madam Speaker: “Thank you.”

Leader of the Opposition John Bricenio: “Madam Speaker I am using the opportunity to say that if WASA is asking us then to do this then maybe this is a time we can get WASA to agree to  put more fire hydrants across this country.”

Madam Speaker: “Yes but the point is that you can bring it up later.”

Leader of the opposition John Briceno:Santa Elena and San Ignacio only have 12 fire hydrants, Benque Viejo has none.

Madam Speaker: Honorable Opposition Leader, Honorable Opposition Leader.”

Leader of the opposition John Briceno: “No no but we can use this opportunity to..”

Madam Speaker:Excuse me Honorable Opposition Leader you have enough time to bring that up just proceed with the subject matter.”

Speaker: “We are debating yes it is a point of interest madam Speaker, we are debating a bill whereas BWSL is getting money’s, getting loan funds and this leader of the opposition is saying how he believe those loan funds can be better utilized or expanded, how is that not relevant.

Acting prime Minister: Madam Speaker it is not relevant because BWSL is getting the loan for a particular and specific purpose which is to improve the water system in Ambergris Caye. If they want to raise a point about fire hydrants that can be done at a later date.

Madam Speaker: Yes thank you acting Prime Minister, Honorable Opposition Leader kindly proceed with the actual debate.

Opposition leader: “But to make the point the honorable member from Belmopan said with NEWCO they use the tax as a strategy to force them to come to the negotiating table. This could be a strategy we are given the support but they offer Fire Hydrants for the country of Belize, what is so difficult about that.

Madam Speaker:Okay I am still asking you to proceed Opposition Leader with with the actual issue because then you have an opportunity again so kindly proceed please.”

Opposition Leader: This is my point I want to make it abundantly clear that we do support what the are asking, the guarantee but at the same time I am saying let us ask WASA since we are giving you the support, expand and fix the fire hydrants. Your honor people houses are burning down, we have water to help protect people’s lives, that’s all I am saying, what so wrong with that, anyway Madam Speaker I have my point.”


BWSL to Purchase Consolidated Water Belize in San Pedro

A loan for roughly seventeen million Belize dollars is being guaranteed by government for Belize Water Services Limited to acquire shares in Consolidated Water Belize Limited in San Pedro.  The privately held utility company on Ambergris Caye will be bought by BWSL and its system expanded to provide potable water, as well as sewerage, to residents on the island.  The move comes after years of complaints by consumers of a shortage of water on the island during peak seasons of the year.  Today, Acting Prime Minister Patrick Faber introduced a motion in the house which will trigger the acquisition of the company.  That motion was agreed to by Leader of the Opposition John Briceño who also raised concerns about fire hydrants in places such as San Pedro and Orange Walk towns.

Patrick Faber, Acting Prime Minister

“And whereas the bank has offered a loan of U.S. eight million, five hundred and seven thousand dollars to Belize Water Services Limited, BWSL, on the condition, among others, that the loan shall be guaranteed by the Government of Belize and whereas the purpose of the loan is to purchase the shares of Consolidated Water Belize Limited, expand the existing water treatment plant, retrofit the San Pedro water and sewerage system, supply and install water distribution pipelines, water transmission mains, sewage collection pipelines, water service connections and sewer connections and supply and installation of forty-one KW photovoltaic generation system and whereas the terms and conditions of the loan are as follows: U.S. eight million five hundred and seventeen thousand dollars from the bank’s ordinary capital resources to be repaid in forty equal or approximately equal and consecutive quarterly installments on each due date, commencing on the first due date two years after the loan agreement.”

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Maybe this would be a good opportunity since [BWSL] is asking from the government a guarantee so that they can get this eight point five million dollars U.S. to do a much needed expansion for water in San Pedro.  Maybe that could be a good opportunity for us to then ask [BWSL] to work with us with the fire hydrants because we have a massive problem with fire hydrants across the country.  For instance in Orange Walk during the fire, we found out that the fire hydrant that’s right in front of the house that it was closed off.”

Channel 5

Re: BWSL Will Take Over San Pedro’s Failing Water Supply [Re: Marty] #532600
10/04/18 04:55 AM
10/04/18 04:55 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 61,709
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

G.O.B. Gets Loan to Improve San Pedro’s Water System

Also today, Senators debated a loan for the Water and Sewerage Expansion in South Ambergris Caye Project.  The loan is being provided by the Caribbean Development Bank and is for eight point five million dollars.  The purpose of the loan is to purchase the shares of Consolidated Water Belize Limited, expand the existing water treatment plant, retrofit the San Pedro water and sewage system and supply and install water distribution pipelines.  The monies will also be used for other infrastructural improvements.  A few senators voiced their support for the loan with a few reservations.

Mark Lizarraga, Private Sector Senator

“I think at some stage we need to seriously look at when our water company is going to be putting in new system to look at fire hydrants. We have seen many unfortunate instances of tragic fires in our country recently. I am not casting any blame, aspersions on anyone but I think in the interest of good planning when we are looking these things, expanding systems, putting in new system and increasing capacity – we need to take these things seriously in consideration and I happy to support this bill.”

Godwin Hulse, Leader of Govt. Business

“It is a complaint across the country. We have proposed, when I was responsible for fire and now the current minster and the cabinet has approved, that in fact…the Fire Chief tells us that the average amount of water needed to deal with a large fire is four thousand five hundred gallons. The current water trucks carry five hundred gallons in their belly so they run out in no time, two three minutes in no time and they have to be looking for sources. The idea is procure water trucks, simple water trucks that can carry five, six thousand gallons that tear out right behind the fire engine as soon as it flies out the truck is right behind and they connect to that so that they have that expanded water capacity to be able to some of these. That is in process.”

Osmany Salas, N.G.O. Senator

“I understand from different people on the island that I spoke to that CWBL has not met its capacity. It could very well be that expansion is probably not needed. I stand to be corrected. It could be a case of distribution. I would have preferred to see more of the funds invested in infrastructure and the sewage system because I understand that probably close to ninety percent of properties in San Pedro still use septic tanks. That is a major concern.

Godwin Hulse

“The loan is basically to purchase but also install a new plant. I understand that they will build a one million gallon tank on the island as well to increase capacity. There is currently two point five million dollars storage but that is not enough because as we understand and reported to us by BWSL during the Easter period for example they use a million gallons a day and that is just the existing connection. So that is the reason why the loan is what it is.”

Channel 5

Re: BWSL Will Take Over San Pedro’s Failing Water Supply [Re: Marty] #532688
10/10/18 04:32 AM
10/10/18 04:32 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 61,709
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Consolidated Water looking to close Belize operations

Cayman utility company Consolidated Water may be selling its operations in Belize due in major part to difficulties the company has experienced in repatriating profits from there, according to filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Consolidated Water – which is headquartered in Cayman and also operates in Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Indonesia – has explained in public filings that repatriating profits requires the approval of the Central Bank of Belize, and is dependent on the amount of U.S. dollars available to Belize banks to execute such transfers.

“Weakness in the Belize economy and other factors have reduced the amount of U.S. dollars that Belize banks have available for transfer, which has limited the amount of funds we are presently able to transfer from CW-Belize,” Consolidated Water explained in its second-quarter report for this year. “Our repatriations of funds from CW-Belize to our parent company amounted to $458,000 and $400,000 for the years ended Dec. 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively, significantly less than the net income and net cash flows CW-Belize generated for those years.”

The difficulties in repatriating profits from Belize have apparently reached a tipping point for Consolidated Water, as the company has entered a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Belize Water Services Ltd. to sell all of its shares – under the condition that Belize Water Services helps facilitate the conversion to U.S. dollars so that Consolidated Water can repatriate all the cash it holds in that country.

Because of this agreement, Consolidated Water has been able to repatriate US$2.75 million in cash from Belize to its bank accounts in the Cayman Islands over the past three months, representing a marked increase in the amount of cash that the company has been able to transfer from its accounts in Belize in recent years, according to Consolidated Water CEO Rick McTaggart.

While the transaction between Consolidated Water and Belize Water Services has not been finalized, it appears to be getting closer to that point. An Oct. 1 report from Channel 5 Belize states that the country’s government has approved a sovereign guaranty for a proposed loan from the Caribbean Development Bank of $17 million Belize dollars (US$8.5 million) to, among other things, acquire all the shares of Consolidated Water’s Belize operations.

Cayman Compass


Regional water company clarifies recent news item from Belize

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd, a leading developer and operator of seawater desalination plants, has clarified recent news reports from Belize that stated that the House of Representatives of Belize approved a sovereign guaranty for a proposed loan from the Caribbean Development Bank of BZ$17 million (US$8.5 million) to enable Belize Water Services Ltd to acquire all of the shares of Consolidated Water (Belize) Limited and to expand its water treatment plant, retrofit the San Pedro water and sewerage system and make other improvements to the country’s water distribution network.

One of these reports further stated that the “acting prime minister Patrick Faber introduced a motion in the house which will trigger the acquisition of the company (meaning CW-Belize)”.

Commenting on these reports, Rick McTaggart, president and CEO of the company, clarified that “while the company had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Belize Water Services Ltd earlier this year with respect to the potential sale of the CW-Belize shares, the parties have not negotiated nor executed any binding transaction documents. As an enticement to the company to enter into this proposed transaction, Belize Water Services Ltd promised in the MOU to facilitate the conversion to US$ and the repatriation of all cash that the company holds in Belize. Consequently, the company has been able to repatriate US$2.75 million in cash from Belize to its bank accounts in the Cayman Islands over the past three months, representing a marked increase in the amount of cash that the company has been able to transfer from its accounts in Belize in recent years.”

McTaggart further clarified that “the transaction contemplated in the MOU is contingent on several things, including but not limited to the successful negotiation of the binding transactions documents, Belize Water Services Ltd’s ability to obtain financing for the transaction, due diligence, governmental approvals, and the conversion to US$ and the repatriation of the company’s remaining cash balances in Belize.”

McTaggart concluded his comments by noting that “As disclosed in our various public filings, it has been increasingly difficult to repatriate the profits from our Belize operations in recent years due to Belize’s general economic situation. In the event that this transaction is completed, the company plans to use the proceeds to fund organic growth projects in our other existing markets, as well as new projects and potential acquisitions in new and developing markets.”

Consolidated Water, which is headquartered in the Cayman Islands, develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce. The company operates water production and/or distribution facilities regionally in the Cayman Islands, Belize, the British Virgin Islands and The Bahamas.

Caribbean News Now

Last edited by Marty; 10/10/18 04:53 AM.
Re: BWSL Will Take Over San Pedro’s Failing Water Supply [Re: Marty] #532964
10/28/18 04:54 AM
10/28/18 04:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 61,709
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

CDB approves USD8.7 million to improve water supply on Ambergris Caye

The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding of US$8.7 million to the Belize Water Services (BWS), to improve the supply of potable water on Ambergris Caye.

Ambergris Caye is the largest island of Belize, and a popular tourist destination. Water on the island is provided by a reverse osmosis plant, which desalinates sea water. Although the desalination plant is currently producing at its maximum capacity, there are still periodic water shortages on the island, as a result of increased demand since the plant was incorporated in 1996.

BWS will use the approved funding to acquire the reverse osmosis plant on Ambergris Caye, which is currently owned and operated by a private supplier. The funds will also support the expansion of water and sewerage systems on the island, with consideration to the possible future effects of climate change.

“Supporting economic development on Ambergris Caye requires the provision of safe, affordable, potable water. Through this project, the BWS will be able to expand water production systems on the island, leading to fewer water shortages. We note the potential of this project not only to provide costs savings to BWS but also to boost tourism activity in the area,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB.

Additional project components include the installation of a solar energy system at the San Pedro water treatment site, which will allow BWS to save approximately 37 percent of the current electricity cost for this site. The funding will also support the development of a Gender Policy and Operational Strategy for Human Resource Management at BWS, which will cover areas such as recruitment, retention, and training and development, to improve gender equality in the workplace.

<#> A final component of the project will cover technical assistance to improve communication and public education, and stakeholder education. This will assist BWS in developing methods to improve customer outreach, and engage stakeholders at every project stage.

Funding is being provided through a loan of US$8.5 million, and a grant of US$205,000. The project is consistent with CDB’s 2016-2020 Country Strategy for Belize, which identified water as a key sector for support, and acknowledged that physical development was leading to increasing demands for water and sewerage services. Previous water projects funded by CDB include the Belize River Valley Rural Water System and the Belize City Water and Sewerage Project.

Caribbean News Service

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