NWC, Scotia unit ink US$115mn contract to improve water supply

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jamaica's National Water Commission (NWC) has signed a US$115mn loan agreement with the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica (BNSJ) to finance the second phase of the Jamaica water supply improvement program (JWSIP).

The program aims to improve efficiency and reliability of potable water service, and expand the system to ensure that urban areas have reliable and safe supply, according to housing, environment, water and local government minister Horace Chang.

The loan is the largest for infrastructure approved by a local bank, Chang added.

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"Not only did we have to look at water rates, but we had to look at the structural management of the water commission and we had taken steps to make changes that our financiers are satisfied that we are going in the right direction," state news agency JIS quoted Chang as saying.

Divided into two stages, JWSIP is the largest project ever undertaken by NWC. It has a total cost of J$17bn (US$211mn) and, on completion, will bring an additional 20Mgl (75.7Ml) of water to residents in the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and other areas nationwide.

BNSJ is a branch of Scotia Group Jamaica, the local unit of Canada's Scotiabank (NYSE: BNS).