REMARKS BY MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND WORKS
HONOURABLE MARK VANTERPOOL
AT THE CONTRACT SIGNING BETWEEN
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLAND AND AQUA DESIGN (BVI) LTD.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2015
I am very pleased to be here today to sign this contract, along with our Premier, Dr. D. Orlando Smith, and the rest of the team from GE/Aqua, on behalf of the people and Government of the Virgin Islands.
This is a very significant moment for our people on Virgin Gorda in particular and it marks a major milestone in our Government’s efforts to upgrade the Water Distribution Network in the Virgin Islands.
I want you to know today, that your Government has been working vigorously to identify and improve the water supply throughout the Territory.
At this time, I would like to apologize to the public, the consumers, who have been affected by frequent disruptions in the water supply, as we have seen in the last year or so.
With the signing of this agreement today, Aqua Designs BVI Ltd. is committing to producing a regular supply of water for the island of Virgin Gorda for the next 7 years, with an option to renew for another seven years.
Government will be purchasing this water from Aqua Designs for $12.46 per thousand imperial gallons and this price includes the cost of electricity.
The average price we are paying now, including electricity, is approximately $20.
This new pricing of $12.46 brings us closer to the cost that we are charging consumers.
We are pleased about this reduced price and expect that it will be the standard, or even lower, going forward.
With a production of 480,000 imperial gallons per day, the total savings that we expect for the Territory will be approximately $1.3m per annum, at a cost of $12.46 versus $20.
We are also expecting similar savings on Tortola, going forward.
Aqua Design BVI Limited’s contract, is to build, own and operate a new water plant on Virgin Gorda, to replace the existing plant, which is old and has come to the end of its useful life.
Based on the progress of work to date, expectations are that increased production is expected within four (4) months.
In the meantime, to alleviate the water shortage issues on Virgin Gorda, you will be pleased to know that on Monday of this week, the Water and Sewerage Department trucked 275,000 gallons of water from Tortola to Virgin Gorda.
That has been followed up with another shipment today, of a similar amount.
In the meantime, we are urgently working to get the plant back up and producing water on a regular basis.
With the new plant, the system capacity of the sites in Virgin Gorda will be increased from approximately 320,000 gallons to 480,000 imperial gallons per day.
This is a 50% increase in water production capacity, overall.
Aqua Design has been operating in the Virgin Islands for many years, with plants in Sea Cow’s Bay and Capoons Bay on Tortola and also on Virgin Gorda.
I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government and people of the Virgin Islands, to thank Aqua Design BVI Ltd. for its commitment to working with us on these projects.
I trust we can continue to maintain a professional and productive relationship, for the benefit of our people on Virgin Gorda and throughout the rest of the Virgin Islands.
Once again, on behalf of the Premier and the Government of the Virgin Islands, we are pleased to sign this contract today, in the interest of the people of the Virgin Islands.
May God continue to bless these beautiful Virgin Islands.