Clearford Signs Agreement with Republic of Maldives Utility
Company will construct sewer infrastructure on up to 15 of country's islands
Clearford Industries Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with Upper South Utilities Ltd. (USUL) of the Republic of Maldives to negotiate and enter into sewerage infrastructure projects for up to fifteen of the islands located in the Upper South Province using Clearford's SBS system. The parties agreed to work in good faith to establish a binding contract for construction and financing that enables the Maldives to pay for the Clearford infrastructure over a 20-year period. The estimated value of the servicing program is $40 million dollars.
The Republic of Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean off of the southwest tip of India and has a population greater than 300,000 people distributed over approximately 200 inhabited islands. Currently, sanitary sewers are installed on fewer than 12 of these islands. The islands are coral and sand structures with a porous nature, so groundwater on the un-serviced islands often is contaminated by onsite disposal of human sewage. Residents on many of the islands rely on both rainwater harvesting and commercially available bottled water as their sources of drinking and cooking water. Improving the groundwater so as to minimize risk is considered the most effective way of developing a sustainable water supply, by avoiding total reliance on costly desalinated water as the main source.
The present government is the Republic of Maldive's first to be democratically elected. The government established seven nationwide provinces in order to decentralize government services, avoiding the need for the islands to rely on central administration and control. Each province has been provided with a utility company with a mandate to provide commercially sustainable essential services to the islands within their territories. USUL operates under this government mandate to provide water and sewerage services to the islands in the Upper South Province. The Upper South Province's initial project has placed a priority on fifteen islands within its territory.
The intention of this agreement is for the parties to work together to secure financing, design and implementation of the projects using the Clearford wastewater collection and treatment process so as to enable collection and treatment of sewage on the un-serviced islands. This agreement provides Clearford with an exclusive right to work with USUL for six months to secure financing terms from international banking sources for the projects, payment being fully guaranteed by the Republic of Maldives. Financing terms refers to reconstruction and development terms with a low interest rate and a moratorium of repayment acceptable to USUL.
"The Maldives has been one of the 10 priority countries for Clearford during the last year of international business development. We have interacted with and made proposals for servicing on some of the islands over this period. I am confident that we have a very knowledgeable customer and an optimal technical solution for their requirement," said Bruce Linton, president and CEO of Clearford.