CJI Conversation: Jason Erickson of TSG Water Resources
It’s the most essential part of any hotel or resort project in the Caribbean: the water plant.
Plainly, hotels and resorts can’t exist without the necessary water infrastructure — and developing it can be particularly challenging in island environments.
For years, TSG Water has been at the forefront of the industry, either designing, building or upgrading more than 90 water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities across the wider region.
To learn more, Caribbean Journal Invest talked to Jason Erickson, Senior VP and COO of TSG Water.
Tell us a little about the history of your company and what you do.
TSG is a private water and wastewater utility company serving primarily resorts and private residential developments in the Caribbean and Latin America. TSG has been designing, building and operating desalination and wastewater treatment plants since 1998 and currently has operations in eight countries, with our Home Office in Gainesville, FL.
TSG began as a design build company that was primarily providing water treatment equipment to resorts and governments in the Caribbean. In the islands and coastal regions in which we operate, governmental water supplies and wastewater treatment systems tend to be either unavailable or unreliable, and so having one’s own treatment systems is often necessary. But what we began to realize after a few years is that most resorts and private residential developments are ill-equipped to operate and maintain this kind of equipment reliably and effectively. What these developments need is the same kind of water and wastewater treatment service they would have from a municipality in the United States or other developed country. TSG seeks to replicate this kind of utility service in its latest service offering through TSG Water Partners
You mentioned your private water utility service. Can you tell us how TSG Water Partners works?
TSG Water Partners is a joint venture between TSG, WaterMark Resource Development, LLC and Akira Partners, Inc. TSG Water Partners can provide a full, turnkey service in which the necessary equipment is designed, manufactured, installed and operated for the long term, and the results are guaranteed based on our 20 year track record. We supply not only the equipment but also the capital necessary both for the initial phase of development as well as subsequent phases. Our clients have what they need–water supply and wastewater treatment services–to sell real estate and hospitality services, which is their primary business, without having to take on the risk and responsibility of developing and operating these systems themselves.
Is this service available only to new resorts only, or are there ways that existing properties can take advantage of this service?
This service is available both to new resorts and to existing resorts. For existing resorts, we can acquire desalination and wastewater treatment systems of any manufacturer and provide any necessary repairs, upgrades or expansions. We can then operate these systems just as reliably and effectively as ones that we supply.
In fact, we have found a significant amount of interest in this solution currently because of the challenges most resort properties are facing with the coronavirus crisis. Many resorts are finding that this may be a good time to allow a professional third party firm to assume responsibility for these critical utilities and to realize an immediate financial benefit as well. By working with TSG Water Partners, they can also convert these utility services into a long-term, ongoing source of profitability.
How many projects has your company completed in the Caribbean and Latin America?
TSG has designed, built, upgraded or upgraded over 90 water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities in the Caribbean and Latin America. The majority of or our projects have been in the Caribbean and the Bahamas with about 10% in Mexico. We also have long term operations and maintenance contracts in 7 countries. These contracts consist of a mix of our various levels of service.
Do you offer operation and maintenance services other than private water utilities?
TSG offers a wide range of service packages from Full Responsibility including all parts and labor to weekly, monthly, or quarterly visits to assist the owners’ operators in maintenance and repair. TSG also provides complete design and consulting services for any water and wastewater infrastructure projects. This applies to new construction as well as upgrading and refurbishment of existing plants.
What is the largest Caribbean project you have ever completed?
We have completed a number of fairly large projects in the Caribbean and Latin America. The largest of these is a desalination plant of 2,000,000 gallons a day, which is about as large a plant as is needed for any resort or residential development.
We understand you built the water plant and utilities on Necker Island. Can you tell us about that project?
The desalination plant on Necker Island was in fact the first plant that TSG designed and built in the Caribbean in 1998. We continue to provide service to the plant on Necker Island as well as a plant TSG built on another island in the area owned by Richard Branson, Moskito Island.
What new technologies are on the horizon?
TSG continues to look at new water and wastewater treatment technologies in an effort to provide our clients with the most efficient and effective products. Currently, we are focused on leveraging SCADA and edge of network IoT to help us collect, analyze and act upon near real time data from the plants we operate, regardless of how remote the geographic location.
This data allows us to gather a more complete picture of how our water and wastewater plants are operating. Through the use of these modern operational intelligence tools combined with battle tested maintenance best practices, we are able to provide unparalleled world-class equipment reliability that translates into the most efficient and cost-effective operations in the region.
For more, visit TSG Water.