APUA to probe confidentiality terms of contract with water company

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Management of The Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) has said it is currently investigating the confidentiality terms of its agreement with Sembcorp after the water company accused it of breach of contract.

Last week, Sembcorp, which owns the reverse osmosis plant at Crabbs Peninsula, announced that APUA owed the company about $20 million for water provided over the last two years.

The water supplier said APUA only pays US $240,000 per month, less than the US $300,000 necessary to cover the monthly invoice, which causes the arrears to grow.

In 1992, APUA entered into a contract with Eneserve (now known as Sembcorp) to produce 3.1 million imperial gallons of water per day. APUA said at the time, it did not have the technical ability to operate a reverse osmosis plant.

“Currently, on average, the nation of Antigua requires 5.6 million imperial gallons a day,” a press release from the statutory body stated.

“Sixty per cent of the water is sourced from desalination, 30 per cent from surface water and 10 per cent from ground water.”

Sembcorp earlier said it produced upwards of 65 per cent of the nation’s water supply. However, its 3.1 million imperial gallons only represents about 55 per cent of the 5.6 million APUA said Antigua requires daily.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)