WSC looking to build $70-$80m plant
A $70-$80 million water plant is in the works for the Water and Sewerage Corporation(WSC), with the general manager of the company saying the new facility will translate into lower prices for consumers in its first two years of operation.
Glen Laville toldGuardian Businessthat the corporation is taking steps to construct the new plant and upon completion it will provide savings for both Bahamians and the company.
“We’ve already gotten proposals and we’ve already put(them)forth for government consideration,”Laville said.”If it is approved it’s a 10-year project, five years to reduce[water production]and another five years to maintain it.
“Customers will see changes within the first two years because as the non-revenue water(NRW)comes down, that means we will have more water to supply, the supply becomes more reliable and overall(will)provide better service levels.”
Laville made these comments during a presentation at the Bahamas Society of Engineers conference last Friday at the Sheraton Resort. He noted that WSC could save between$70 and$80 million if the plant is built, simply because it will reduce the amount of water that is supplied annually and minimize the gallons of water that go to waste over that time frame.
According to the general manager, WSC is currently selling 52 percent of the water it produces, which equates to a$13-$16 million loss annually in Nassau. In the Family Islands, around 50 percent is being sold, translating to$6-$7 million in losses yearly.
If the new plant is implemented, by 2014 only 33 percent of the water it supplies will be lost and by 2020, 22 percent will not be sold. Laville said the 10-year plan will be instrumental in shaving down operating costs for the company and will also result in more affordable water rates.
Laville said although the plant may not seem very complicated to implement, the process is the exact opposite.
“A lot of people are under the impression that with the NRW all you have to do is change the infrastructure, and unfortunately that’s not true,”he said.”The reality is that this is a multi-pronged approach. It’s a large project and it happens one time and then after that you go on and maintain it.”
But Laville asserted that the project will be beneficial to the company in the long run.
“What we’ll have at the end of the day is also an improved infrastructure management system throughout the corporation,”he said.
Laville mentioned that WSC has a number of projects on stream, including building a facility in the Yellow Elder Subdivision to support the national track and field stadium, and a recycling water project. He said that Baha Mar is interested in utilizing that resource.