WATER YOU UP TO?

Jamaica 2018 | CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE | FOCUS: WATER PROJECTS

Water: the source of life and a source of opportunity for construction companies in Jamaica.

From the National Water Commission (NWC) to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), many are concerned about potable water and wastewater treatment in Jamaica, meaning many prospects for the private sector to play a more significant role.

The most recent opportunity was awarded to the French company, Vinci Construction Grands Projets (VCGP) for the transport, treatment, and disposal of sewage from Port Antonio to the Anchovy Waste Water Treatment Plant. Vinci will design, build, and operate the facilities to transport the sewage as well as update the facilities to treat and dispose the wastewater at the treatment plant.
The company's participation in this stage of the project was confirmed in April 2017; country manager of VCGP Timothee Delebarre and Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Dr. Horace Chang announced that the works will be implemented over the course of 16 months, increasing the anchovy plant's treatment capacity to 1,000cbm per day. Delebarre told TBY that the company hopes to commission the Port Antonio wastewater treatment plant by 3Q2018.
The project is part of the IDB-funded Kingston Metropolitan Area Water Supply Improvements Project, which plans to optimize water infrastructure performance, reduce non-revenue water levels, and strengthen NWC's capacities. NWC is the executing agency of the project and will oversee the USD7.55-million contract with VCGP.
With plans to become the number-one water services utility in the Caribbean and Latin America by 2020, NWC has other tenders in progress and is active within the Jamaica Water Supply Improvement Project (JWSIP), the largest potable water construction project in the history of the Caribbean, and has included the construction and refurbishment of treatment plants, storage facilities, and pumping and distribution pipelines. NWC's most recent tender is looking for a construction company to complete and commission the service of 2.5km of iron pipelines in Manchester, specifically the Mile Gully Distribution pipeline.
To understand the water priority in Jamaica, look no further than the IDB's portfolio of projects on the third-largest Caribbean island. Of the total USD383-million portfolio, over one-third (USD133 million) is earmarked for water and sanitation. In June 2017, IDB and the Ministry of Agriculture, as the executing agency, awarded a contract for a little over USD513,000 to Jamaica Drip Irrigation in Manchester, a division of Isratech Jamaica Ltd. Jamaica Drip Irrigation is building its own collection of irrigation and water conversation projects across the country and the region. In the region, water and sanitation projects make up eight out 35 IDB projects in the approval pipeline, tied with transport for most number of projects in a sector.
National and local governments as well as Jamaica's private sector also understand the importance of expanding Jamaica's supply of potable water and water-related infrastructure. In October 2017, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced new upgrades to water and sewerage pipelines in Denham Town, according to the Jamaica Information Service.
Moreover, the public sector is looking for collaboration with the private sector and vice versa. In an exclusive interview with TBY, Delebarre shared that VCGP is anticipating the construction of a new treatment plant in the form of a PPP in 2018. The company is looking for partnerships with ministries, NWC, and financial partners to address the need for additional treatment capacity.
Let us not forget potable water. VCGP is aiming to procure the first PPP agreement in the sub-sector. Delebarre emphasized, “VCGP has worked on the largest production centers on the island and the largest plants, yet there is still need for water… water demand is increasing every year because of population growth."