Sembcorp needs APUA debt deadline

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The water company, Sembcorp, has given Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) six months to come up with a payment plan to liquidate the $7.8 million the statutory corporation owes its main water supplier.

Last week, the utility company announced it will be increasing the amount of water it supplies to APUA by 700,000 gallons daily. Sembcorp now provides 3.8 imperial gallons up from 3.1 million gallons daily.

Public Relations Consultant for Sembcorp, Paula Lee, told OBSERVER media,” The Antigua Public Utilities Authority and Sembcorp are in negotiations aimed at reaching consensus on an agreed timeline in which a specific percentage of the 7.8 million dollar debt will be liquidated.”

According to the consultant, “Each month APUA will continue to pay for current water supplies. Payments for increased production will be made upon request, and APUA within an agreed timeline, will reduce its outstanding debt by a specific percentage.”

Sembcorp increased its water production to the utility company last Wednesday following a meeting with Prime Minister Gaston Browne and officials of both company.

The purpose of talks were, “To alleviate the water crisis and reduce the outstanding debt.”

Prime Minister Browne, who played a key role in last week’s meeting, said he is confident APUA will be able to meet SembCorp’s deadline.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)