Jamaica, Scotiabank Sign $115 Million Loan Deal to Improve Water Supply

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Above: ScotiaBank CEO Bruce Bowen and Jamaican Environment Minister Dr Horace Chang (JIS Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica and the Bank of Nova Scotia have signed a $115 million contract to fund the second phase of the Jamaica Water Supply Improvement Project.

Environment Minister Dr Horace Chang held the talks with Bank of Nova Scotia President Bruce Bowen.

The contract was signed at the Ministry of Environment in Kingston.

“It seems a very daunting task at the beginning, because that takes a significant amount of funding,” Dr Chang said. “In fact, I didn’t fully appreciate the cost of a water system until I got into the Ministry. It is far more expensive than most other infrastructure.”

The $115 million loan from the Bank of Nova Scotia is the largest loan for infrastructure that is being organised by a local bank.

“It is not the easiest thing to put together a loan of this size,” Bowen said. “The team persisted and the government is committed to making the National Water Commission a viable and efficient company.”

Bowen emphasized the importance of getting water to people.

“It was also being done in a manner that was going to be able to pay for itself and as a commercial financier, this is something that you are looking for,” he said.

The principal loan will be repaid by the NWC by way of 18 equal quarterly payments of $1.916 million, following a 30-month moratorium period, with a final payment of $80.5 million.

 

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