Gov't must partner with private sector for more investment in water - Hall

Jeffrey Hall
A major player in the private sector is contending that the government will have to meet the private sector half way to get more investment in water projects.
CEO of the Pan Jamaica Group Jeffrey Hall is pushing for more public-private partnerships to develop the nation's water infrastructure. 
"We have to take a view on the cost of capital that's realistic, and we have to see it quickly. And we have to take a view that if private capital can...provide water at less than the current marginal cost or marginal revenue of water, depending on what your target levels are, then we have to say to the private players, in connection with the NWC, rapidly get on with it," he proposed. 
Mr. Hall described the public-private agreement for the construction of the $12 billion Rio Cobre Water Treatment Plant in St. Catherine, as a step in the right direction.
The Pan Jam Group, Eppley and Vinci Construction Grands Projects are the other local players involved in the project.  
The three entities have formed the Rio Cobre Water that will build, finance, operate, maintain and transfer the water treatment plant for an initial period of 23 years of operation and an estimated two years of construction.  
"We thought it'd be an easy ask because we figured that local capital would say, well, of course...the OUR is going to make sure that the rate at which the NWC can charge for water is going to be adequate to compensate us. And we're all here and we know if we don't get water to our people, our people can be very demanding. So the credit risk ought not to be that significant. We found that the deal needed to attract global capital to happen," he said. 
The project is being financed by Sagicor Jamaica, Proparco and IDB invest.

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