Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela, who leaves office on June 30, visited some of the water projects that are being built under the 100% potable water coverage program launched at the beginning of his administration in 2014.
The program has required US$593mn in investment, according to government information.
Varela (in photo) inspected the potable water treatment plants being built in Arraiján, a district in Panamá Oeste province, and Gamboa, in Colón province near the Panama Canal. He also visited the plants being expanded in Chilibre, Panamá provice, and in Sabanitas, also in Colón.
The four projects, along with construction of the Panamá Este and Norte hydraulic ring pipelines that are currently 31% and 13% complete, respectively, were the main initiatives launched to improve water supply in capital Panama City and the provinces of Colón and Panamá Oeste.
They are expected to benefit more than 800,000 residents of the area, the government said in a release.
Construction of the José «Pepe» Fierro potable water treatment plant is 30% complete, Varela said during the visit. The facility is expected to be ready in July next year, and will produce 60mn gallons of water a day to supply the eastern area of Panama City.
The works, requiring an estimated US$239mn, are the responsibility of consortium Agua para Gamboa, which comprises Construcciones Civiles Generales and Técnicas de Desalinización de Aguas (Tedagua).
The Ing José Guillermo Rodríguez potable water plant in the Howard sector of Arraiján district is also progressing, although authorities did not provide a rate of completion.
The plant will supply 40mn gallons of water a day, and its design considers a future expansion.
A consortium comprising the water and infrastructure divisions of Spanish company Acciona was awarded the US$212mn contract to build the plant.
Some 283,000 residents of Arraiján, Burunga, Nuevo Emperador, Veracruz, Juan D Arosemena, Santa Clara, Cerro Silvestre and Vista Alegre are expected to benefit from the works.
Expansion of the Federico Guardia Conte potable water treatment plant is reportedly 52% complete. The works include a new treatment module, which will produce an additional 15mn gallons a day. The facility currently treats 250mn gallons of water a day.
Some 150,000 residents of 24 de Diciembre, Mañanitas, Pacora, San Martín and Tocumen will benefit from the expanded plant, which is one of the country’s largest.
The US$35mn contract was awarded to Consorcio AB Chilibre, comprising Acciona Agua and BTD Proyectos.
The expansion of the Antonio Yepes de León potable water treatment plant will benefit 115,000 residents of Barrio Norte, Barrio Sur, Buena Vista, Cativá, Ciricito, Sabanitas, Salamanca, Limón, Nueva Providencia, Puerto Limón, Cristóbal, Escobal, San Juan and Santa Rosa.
The project, which involves a second treatment module, will produce an additional 35mn gallons of water a day.
The US$109mn contract was also awarded to a consortium formed by Acciona’s water and infrastructure units.