Jamaica Prime Minister Announces Measures to Deal with Prolonged Drought

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday May 15, 2019 – As Jamaica continues to grapple with aprolonged drought, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced severalinitiatives to improve the supply of water to the Corporate Area and the south-easternparish of St Catherine, estimated to cost US$160 million.

Among the new measures heannounced yesterday is the construction of a 15-million-gallon-per-day watertreatment plant in St Catherine.

The new plant will beestablished under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement, with theprivate entity being responsible to finance, design, construct, operate andmaintain this plant and to sell water to the National Water Commission (NWC).

The total cost to develop theproject and construct the new water treatment plant is estimated at US$60million.

“The project will take 24months, and we have received the approval from the Public Investment ManagementCommittee (PIMC),” Prime Minister Holness told the House of Representatives.

He pointed out that the privatepartner – a consortium consisting of a local bank and internationalconstruction company in water infrastructure development – will have 45 days tocomplete negotiations with the Government, after which they will break groundand start construction.

Holness also advised the LowerHouse that the project is contiguous with the divestment of the CentralWastewater Treatment Company (CWTC), which owns the Soapberry Wastewater TreatmentPlant in St Catherine.

Other projects the PrimeMinister announced include the installation of 2.7 kilometres of 16-inch-diameterductile iron pipeline from Stanton Terrace to Marescaux Road, replacing the oldcast iron pipes, at an estimated cost of US$12 million.

“The design for this pipelineis completed,” he said.

In addition, plans are in placefor the installation of 3.0 kilometres of 16-inch transmission mains fromKing’s House gate (East Kings House Road) to West Kings House Road at itsintersection with Constant Spring Road.

“This will strengthen theflexibility of supplying areas that are mainly supplied by the Constant SpringWater Treatment Plant with water from the Mona Water Treatment Plant. This isestimated to cost US$12 million,” Holness said.

He further informed that thevery old seven-inch diameter pipeline between the Norman Manley Airportroundabout and Port Royal is in a very bad condition and is leaking.

Holness emphasized that thismain has to be upgraded to increase the carrying capacity to Port Royal tosupport the planned developments there, adding that it is the intention toinstall about 10 kilometres of 12-inch pipeline at a cost of approximatelyUS$15 million.

The Prime Minister alsoinformed that the pipeline that transfers water from the Seaview WaterTreatment Plant to serve the upper sections of Jack’s Hill, such as JubbaSpring, Sunset Avenue, Tavistock Heights and Skyline Drive, is in urgent needof replacement.

“It is planned to install a10-inch diameter pipeline at a cost of US$5 million. Then we will have to doSix Miles to North Street, and that will see the installation of 12 kilometresof varying-size pipes from 24 inches to 36 inches of ductile iron transmissionmains that traverse along Spanish Town Road to Glenmore Road,” he said.

He noted further that this willincrease transfer capacity and flexibility within the system.

The Prime Minister also announced the installation of five kilometres of 24- inch diameter transmission mains along Washington Boulevard to allow for improved capacity and flexibility in water distribution.

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Story first appeared at caribbean360.com

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