Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 10th 2016 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 10, 2016
GML ENTERPRISE DESK
Ten years after the idea was first touted, the
Water and Sewerage Authority says it will be
issuing an invitation for expressions of interest
for the construction and operation of a desali-
nation plant in Tobago.
Responding to questions from the GML Enter-
prise Desk, the authority identified the preferred
site as the Cove Industrial Estate but did not go
into detail on how soon the expression of interest
would go out.
CEO of the Desalination Company of Trinidad
and Tobago (Desalcott) John Thompson told the
GML Enterprise Desk the company was not
actively involved in the discussions for a desali-
nation plant for Tobago at "this point in time"
but there was an interest.
He said the Cove Industrial Estate was an ideal
location since it has a power plant, was close to
the sea and close to the water mains so that the
water could be easily pumped into WASA s mains
Desalcott currently owns and operates the
desalination plant at Pt Lisas, which was con-
structed on a build, own and operate basis and
currently produces just about 50 million gallons
of water a day. The plant transforms sea water
into potable water.
Thompson, who is also president of the
Caribbean Desalination Association, said many
countries went the route of desalination plants
to boost the water supply in times of drought.
The plant size which was discussed sometime
ago for Tobago is estimated to produce five million
gallons of water a day and Thompson said that
size plant would take about 18 months to build
and brought into operation.
He said t if all the necessary Town and Country
Planning and Environmental approvals were fast
tracked, the plant should become operational in
Tobago by the end of 2017.
He estimates the cost for construction and
operationalising the plant to be at just about
The desalination plant at Pt Lisas and
a smaller one in Pt Fortin are operated
by Desalcott on the basis of build, own
This means that WASA only pays for
water produced by the plant and not for
the cost of construction of the plant.
Companies on the industrial estate also
subsidise the cost of the water paying a
higher rate than that which WASA
charges domestic customers.
Thompson said over the past few
years, desalinated water had become
However, he said the cost of the water
to Tobago would be dependent on the
authorities, who need to determine
whether the cost of the water would be
He said the authorities could determine
whether companies on the Cove Indus-
trial Estate and hotels which were heavily
dependent on water would pay a higher
rate for the water than the domestic rate.
In December last year Chief Secretary
Orville London said the Tobago House
of Assembly had been in discussions with
WASA to discuss the utility s water plans
Several water wells have been drilled
in Tobago and WASA had expected that
commissioning of those wells would bring
an additional four million gallons of water
a day into the system.
However, a harsh dry season has taken
its toll on the water supply to Tobago.
Prime Minister Keith Rowley said even
the commissioning of the wells had not
brought the level of predictability
A harsh dry season between last year
and into this year has taken its toll on
Tobago with WASA having to deliver
daily truck-borne supplies to hotels, busi-
nesses and consumers.
President of the Tobago Tourism and
Hotel Association, Chris James, had said
because of the situation some hotels had
even experienced cancellations.
$50m Tobago desal plant closer to reality
This means that WASA only
pays for water produced by the
plant and not for the cost of
construction of the plant.
Companies on the industrial
estate also subsidise the cost of
the water paying a higher rate
than that which WASA charges
Desalcott currently owns and operates
the desalination plant at Pt Lisas, which
was constructed on a build, own and
operate basis and currently produces just
about 50 million gallons of water a day.
The plant transforms sea water into
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