WorldWater Corp. has signed an agreement with the government of the Philippines (Department of Agriculture) and the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to implement a $52 million program which will utilize the Company's proprietary solar pumps for mainstream power in broad sections of the Philippine Islands, from Luzon south to Mindanao.
The USTDA agreement approved funding the initial phase of the program in the form of a water and power feasibility study to be performed immediately by WorldWater.
Present for the signing in Washington DC in late November but available for announcement today were President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Philippine Secretary of Agriculture Leonardo Montemayor, USTDA Director Thelma Askey and Quentin T. Kelly, Chairman and CEO of WorldWater.
"The USTDA funding for the study is $302,500," Kelly said," with WorldWater's hydrogeologists and engineers performing the project in conjunction with our subsidiary, WorldWater (Phils) Inc., beginning in January."
The $52 million project is planned for financing by PNC Bank, with US ExIm Bank guaranteeing 85 percent, all backed by a Philippine government sovereign guarantee, he stated.
The nationwide irrigation development project is scheduled to follow immediately on completion of the study in late Spring 2002, according to Kelly.
"President Arroyo thanked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman for extending some $230 million worth of guarantees, credit and grants to modernize Philippine agriculture and rural poverty," Philippine Agriculture Secretary Montemayor said following the ceremonies.
The WorldWater program will be carried out under the auspices of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) of the Dept. of Agriculture, according to Jesus M. Paras, NIA Administrator. "The project, 'Appropriate Irrigation Technologies for Enhanced Agricultural Production,' will use WorldWater's powerful solar pumps and power products to irrigate high value crops and to bring electricity to unelectrified areas. The project will take WorldWater and NIA engineers into all areas of the Philippines and is scheduled to be completed within 24 months," he said.
Kelly added, "We have been active in the Philippines for more than three years and are very familiar with their groundwater systems and water resources, including the areas in Mindanao inhabited by the Islamic rebels. In fact, we have actually installed our solar pumps in the headquarters areas of the rebels -- it was this knowledge of the area and our capabilities in operating there and throughout the Islands that contributed to our earning this major project."
WorldWater, which provides solutions to water problems through use of its proprietary solar power systems, has signed several other contracts in the Philippines in recent months, particularly with communities on the main tourist Island of Cebu, for rural utility water and power, Kelly stated. "The cumulative total of our business with these communities is more than $10 million," he said, adding that implementation of the first systems in the community of Ronda also begins in January, so that, with the feasibility study for the large agricultural project, WorldWater will be starting two principal engineering programs that month, in addition to its on-going lighting program in Zambales, on the Island of Luzon.