Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
The Government of the Virgin Islands has signed three water service contracts that are expected to significantly reduce the cost of the commodity.
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool, said the contract signed on Tuesday, February 14 marked a significant milestone in efforts to reduce the cost of water production to the Government of the Virgin Islands, while increasing the production rate.
Honourable Vanterpool added, “The signing of three major Water Purchase Agreements will reduce the cost of water to the Government, by approximately 30 per cent or approximately $2 million per annum, lowering the rate from an average cost of $19 per thousand gallons previously, to an average cost of less than $13 per thousand gallons.”
The agreements signed included the renewal of production at the Capoons Bay Water Plant on Tortola, with Aqua Design (BVI) Ltd.; a supplemental agreement for increased production in North Sound, Virgin Gorda with Aqua Design (BVI) Ltd.; and a supplement agreement with Ocean Conversion (BVI Ltd.) on Tortola.
Honourable Vanterpool said he was very pleased to see the progress towards reducing the difference between water purchased and water sold, which negatively impacted the Government’s annual budgetary estimates.
The Minister further stated that another $4 million in savings is expected, after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Seven Seas Water BVI Ltd. (BiWater) to review the BiWater Contract in regard to lowering the water rate charged under the Water Purchase Agreement.
Honourable Vanterpool said, “Once this MOU is concluded and becomes a Supplemental Agreement, the Government is expected to save approximately $4 million per annum. This will bring a total savings, through our negotiations on all Water Purchase Agreements, to approximately $6 million per annum.”
The Minister said with these agreements, the public water prices are expected to remain the same with the new proposed agreements.
Meanwhile, Regional Business Leader of Aqua Design (BVI) Ltd., Mr. Robert Gorgol, said that it was an honour to extend the agreements, to expand his company’s plant and to continue to provide excellent service.
Director of Ocean Conversion, Mr. Meade Malone said one of his company’s focus is community. He said customers can expect improved service through these agreements.
Mr. Malone added, “We are indeed pleased to be a part of this initiative by Government to reduce water (prices) and we look forward to producing quality and steady supply of water into the future.”
The Ministry of Communications and Works is committed to providing affordable utility services to the public while enhancing the public infrastructure. Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS