BVI News


BiWater contract under review – $4M annual saving

Mark Vanterpool. File photo

Mark Vanterpool. File photo

The current government has announced that it expects to save $4 million annually when it completes a re-negotiation of the controversial contract that the former Virgin Islands Party administration signed with BiWater back in 2010.

A Memorandum of Understanding that sets the re-negotiation into motion has been signed, according to Minister of Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool.

But, the final agreement will not be signed until other negotiations are completed by Seven Seas Water BVI Limited, which recently became involved with the operation of BiWater BVI Limited.

Vanterpool explained: “A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Seven Seas Water BVI Limited (BiWater) and the Government of the Virgin Islands to review the BiWater contract, with a view to lowering the water rate charged under the Water Purchase Agreement. This is subject to agreement with the lender [to BiWater] – Barclays PLC and UK Export Finance (UK EF).”

“Expectations for a final agreement are imminent…. The only delay in the finalization of those agreements right now is for the lenders to BiWater which is Barclays PLC to along with UK EF… As soon as they have finalized their sign-off in the agreement that we are discussing, then we will be able to make an announcement. Hopefully that’s very imminent,” Vanterpool said.

Tough negotiations

The minister added that the negotiation regarding the new contract has been tough.

“It has not been an easy discussion and negotiation, but we obviously were not comfortable [with the current contract], and the parties on the other side was willing to negotiate with us… Obviously, negotiations have give and take, and I will explain that to you when we have finalized the agreement hopefully in the next couple of weeks,” the minister added during a ceremony where he today announced the signing of three other water purchasing agreements.

Breakdown of savings

Those three other agreements, the minister added, will result in the government saving some $2 million annually.

When the BiWater contract re-negotiations are complete, the government expects its overall savings to climb to approximately $6 million annually.

“Once this Memorandum Of Understanding is concluded and becomes a Supplemental Agreement, the government is expected to save approximately $4 million per annum. This will bring a total savings, through our negotiations on all Water Purchase Agreements, to approximately $6 million per annum.”

BiWater plant at Paraquita Bay, Tortola

BiWater plant at Paraquita Bay, Tortola

Over the years, Vanterpool, along with other members of the National Democratic Party government have lamented what they consider to the the negative implications of the original BiWater contract.

Vanterpool went as far as to describe it as an ‘albatross’ around the government’s neck, adding that the administration could end up having to pay some $100 million if it were to scrap the contract.

At the event held at the Premier’s Office today, Vanterpool acknowledged the challenges the government has been facing with the BiWater contract.

“Obviously the [BiWater/Seven Seas] contract is something that the Government of the Virgin Islands have been concerned about since we entered office in 2011. From that time until now we’ve been having various discussions with the principals of the agreement with an effort to try to reduce the cost of the water to the government,” he said.

“As you recall, we began by understanding that the [BiWater/Seven Seas] contract will be $12.70 per thousand gallons. As at January this year, the bill that I saw, we’ve been paying $21.68 per thousand gallons according to the agreement. That obviously was of great concern to us. So we have gotten an arrangement, and we are making agreements through negations with this group to try to reduce the cost of the water to the territory.”

Vanterpool continued: “Once we have come to the final agreement, I will have a similar press conference and explain all of the facets we have come through… It’s just a Memorandum Of Understanding right now, nothing binding on either side. But it shows that we have come to a point where we have agreed to do a number of things to try to reduce the price of water in the territory.”

Gov’t to save $2M annually from 3 water deals

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  1. Know it all says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    More money for him to [email protected]! up

  2. NDP says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  3. Freedom! says:

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    Progress? Perhaps.

    Meanwhile a message for all in the Diaspora. Do take time to read and understand.

    The purpose? The financial empowerment of the Afro community abroad and right here.

    “Hello everyone, I hope you’re having an amazing Valentine’s Day.

    I’m not sure how I feel about corporate-created holidays designed to get consumers to equate love with money, but let’s just pretend for a second.

    Today, in my opinion, isn’t just a day to express love for the person with whom you’re in a relationship. It’s also a day you can express love for your community. I find that, too often, black people are unwilling to love ourselves out loud. Not only does that love often go missing, but when it is expressed, it usually comes out in a stereotypical, rather than empowering way.

    For example: It’s easy for a Hollywood celebrity to say, “I love being black because I get to eat soul food and we’re also the best singers in the world.” But you won’t often hear that same person say, “I love black people enough that I am going to fight for reparations for the rape and castration of my ancestors. I also plan to buy black whenever possible and teach my children to build institutions for their community.”

    So, I thought I’d start this Valentine’s Day by telling you that I love you completely, unconditionally, and without reservation. Sometimes, my love my come off as awkward, in-your-face, controversial and even flat out sloppy. But for everything I say that doesn’t make sense, I am hopeful that I can make 2 or 3 more statements that help you in this crazy thing called life in a racist society.

    So, in my love for you, please allow me to share a few simple suggestions on how you can strengthen yourself, your family and your community in the future. The puzzle of white supremacy is only complicated for those who aren’t trying to solve it. Here are a few thoughts:

    1) Every black child must know how to start a business before the age of 12 – black males especially are the most unemployed group in America, so you should probably have them trained on how to create a job so they don’t end up stressed like so many of the brothers I know. If you need help in this journey, we have an excellent, low-cost program for children at

    2) Every black person should invest in the stock market. The leading cause for the gap in wealth between the rich and middle class is defined mostly by stock market participation. If you want to know why the Donald Trumps of the world have so much money, it’s because they are taught to invest in the stock market at an early age. A person who starts off as a poor investor in the stock market will die a rich man/woman if they follow basic steps and ideas.

    3) Every black family should have a family business. If you’re going to sit at grandma’s house for Sunday dinner, why not also talk about how you’re going to help each other survive economically? Money is the #1 problem on the minds of most black people, so why not help each other by focusing on solutions to this critical problem? If black people were to spend as much time discussing wealth building as we spend discussing church, TV shows, sports and Beyonce, we’d be the wealthiest people on this planet (these other issues are fine, but we must also handle our business if we are going to be respected by other communities).

    The solutions are simple and they are out there. The question is whether or not we care enough about our children to solve the problem.

    With that being said, I’d like to wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day. Love starts at home and it’s always deepest in your community. So, Valentine’s Day, as far as I’m concerned, is a black thing, because there is nothing more beautiful than loving while black.

    Please take care and have a wonderful day.”


    Dr Boyce Watkins

  4. Wendy says:

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    A must read article!!!

  5. NOPE says:

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    Only in his second term he’s now reviewing biwater contract. Something fishy.

    • ndp heckler says:

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      He gave his buddys a no bid sweetheart deal with the baugher’s bay plant and now wants to look like the great saviour

  6. Freedom! says:

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    Absolutely!!! Wendy!!! Thus the reason for posting.

    If only we can get every Black man and woman to read and begin to follow through on its teachings.

    Imagine the economic fruits we will be picking generations on!!

    Perhaps H.L.S.C.C. administrators and curriculum specialists should reach out to Dr. Boyce and try/seek to initiate such a course at that institution.

    Maybe you might know one of them? Get tem thinking.

    We have got to begin, as Dr. Boyce has, the process of changing our post slavery economic status on earth from each individual, family and community upwards.

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