GIS - 14 November, 2013: Massive investments in the utility sector and securing water sustainability are the salient features of the 2014 Budget as regards the public utilities. A sum of Rs 3 billion will be invested to increase by 60 megawatts the capacity of the Saint Louis Power Generation Park which is expected to be operational by the end of 2015.
In line with the Maurice Ile Durable vision, the Central Electricity Board (CEB) has embarked on a series of power purchase agreements on renewable energy projects with the private sector. These projects are scheduled to become operational by early 2015. Investments in solar and wind projects will inject some Rs 5 billion in the economy.
The Budget has also made provision for the liberalisation of the sale of electricity, with the possibility for enterprises to sell electricity they produce directly to their tenants. Furthermore, Government will encourage Medium Scale Distributor Generators to sell their surplus electricity generated from renewable sources to the CEB. An Energy Efficiency campaign will be launched by the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities.
Increasing demand, ageing infrastructure and climate volatility are the main challenges affecting the water sector in Mauritius. In that context, a new Water Authority Bill aimed at improving efficiency will be introduced shortly .
The Central Water Authority, Wastewater Management Authority and the Irrigation Authority will be merged. The services of an international team of experts will also be enlisted to assist in the merger exercise and the operations of the new institution.
An additional sum of Rs 1.3 billion has been earmarked to ensure continuation of the programme of replacing old pipes and introducing state-of-the-art technology to operate and monitor the water supply system in upper Mare-Aux-Vacoas. The project is expected to be completed in 2016.
The 2014 budget makes provision for Rs 470 million to complete the Pailles Water Treatment Plant. This will ensure an uninterrupted supply to Port Louis and neighbouring areas.
As regards investments in the waste water sector, some 78,000 premises have already been connected to the sewer system. In 2014 some 3,000 new connections would be completed in central Quatre-Bornes, Sodnac and Belle Rose. The contract for connecting some 3,000 households at Guibies, Pailles will be awarded next year.
To execute the various projects under the Build Mauritius Plan, Government will set up a Build Mauritius, a special Fund under the Finance and Audit Act.
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