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 a
prolonged drought, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced several
initiatives to improve the supply of water to the Corporate Area and the south-eastern
parish of St Catherine, estimated to cost US$160 million.

Among the new measures he
announced yesterday is the construction of a 15-million-gallon-per-day water
treatment plant in St Catherine.

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

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

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

He pointed out that the private
partner – a consortium consisting of a local bank and international
construction company in water infrastructure development – will have 45 days to
complete negotiations with the Government, after which they will break ground
and start construction.

Holness also advised the Lower
House that the project is contiguous with the divestment of the Central
Wastewater Treatment Company (CWTC), which owns the Soapberry Wastewater Treatment
Plant in St Catherine.

Other projects the Prime
Minister announced include the installation of 2.7 kilometres of 16-inch-diameter
ductile iron pipeline from Stanton Terrace to Marescaux Road, replacing the old
cast iron pipes, at an estimated cost of US$12 million.

“The design for this pipeline
is completed,” he said.

In addition, plans are in place
for the installation of 3.0 kilometres of 16-inch transmission mains from
King’s House gate (East Kings House Road) to West Kings House Road at its
intersection with Constant Spring Road.

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

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

Holness emphasized that this
main has to be upgraded to increase the carrying capacity to Port Royal to
support the planned developments there, adding that it is the intention to
install about 10 kilometres of 12-inch pipeline at a cost of approximately
US$15 million.

The Prime Minister also
informed that the pipeline that transfers water from the Seaview Water
Treatment Plant to serve the upper sections of Jack’s Hill, such as Jubba
Spring, Sunset Avenue, Tavistock Heights and Skyline Drive, is in urgent need
of replacement.

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

He noted further that this will
increase 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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