MONCTON, New Brunswick -- The City of Moncton recently announced it has awarded Canada's first major drinking water public-private partnership to Great Moncton Water Ltd., a New Brunswick incorporated company owned by USF Canada, Inc. (85%) and The Hardman Group Limited (15%).
USF Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of United States Filter Corporation, a water industry leader that manages more than 200 operations and maintenance contracts in North America for municipalities and industries. The Hardman Group, a privately held company, is Atlantic Canada's leading independent construction management and real estate development firm.
The 20-year agreement, valued at approximately $85 million (Canadian), calls for the financing, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a 27 million gallons/day (mgd) drinking water filtration facility. Upon the facility's commissioning, Moncton will purchase the plant and Greater Moncton Water Ltd. will enter into a 20-year lease and license agreement with exclusive rights to sell water to the municipality.
The partnership is expected to save area ratepayers approximately $12 million in capital, engineering, and operating costs over the term of the agreement.
"This project is an excellent example of how municipalities can secure essential infrastructure and services they require through public-private partnerships," said Moncton Mayor Leopold Belliveau. "Our agreement with U.S. Filter provides Greater Moncton with a long-term solution to the management of our community's water to meet and indeed exceed both the quality expectations by our customers and the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. All residents of the tri-community can look forward to good, clean drinking water 500 days from the beginning of plant construction and at a cost of less than two dollars a week."
"We have invested considerable time and effort finalizing the terms of the agreements and are confident this partnership represents the best possible deal for residents," added Mayor Belliveau. "Furthermore, we are pleased to be one of Canada's first cities to take advantage of a drinking water partnership with private industry."
Mayor Belliveau said that in addition to owning the new facility, Moncton will continue to exercise control over its water rates.
"In the area of water management, Canadian municipalities hold much in common with their American counterparts," said Wallace MacKinnon, USF Canada project vice president. "Both are faced with aging or inadequate infrastructures, tougher environmental standards, growing communities, shrinking budgets, and reductions in funding support from higher levels of government. In response, hundreds of American communities have successfully utilized a partnership approach to improve their quality of life, as well as reduce or stabilize rates paid for water and wastewater services. Based on those successes, we expect to see more Canadian municipalities begin to quickly adopt similar water management approaches."
MacKinnon said significant savings were passed directly to Moncton through the use of U.S. Filter/CPC's Trident water filtration process that reduced the facility's required size by 40 percent. Designed by Touchie Engineering Ltd., the prime engineering consultant, the new facility will also feature the installation of a hydroelectric turbine that will utilize excess water in the Turtle Creek Reservoir to generate electricity and reduce the plant's power requirements.
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