Washington: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorised a US$ 64.9 million loan to build a water supply system in Sri Lanka, a statement issued by the bank said Tuesday.
The 12-year direct loan, authorised for the first time since 2008, will finance the design and construction of the Badulla, Hali Ela and Ella Integrated Water Supply System by Tetra Tech of Pasadena, California.
According to the statement, the project will build new and rehabilitated treatment plants, storage tanks, pumping stations, a new dam and impoundment reservoir, new and existing water intake structures, nearly 50 kilometres of transmission pipeline, and more than 100 kilometres of distribution pipeline.
The completed water-supply system will help the Sri Lankan government to provide safe drinking water to 85 per cent of the population, an objective that is in line with the United Nations Millennium Development goals.
About 400 US jobs will be supported by the transaction, the bank said.
“Not only does this transaction stimulate US job creation, but it also contributes directly to the quality of life in Sri Lanka,” Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg has said in a statement.
“This project will bring potable water to thousands of those who need it, and that is a success.”
Tetra Tech’s Chairman and CEO Dan Batrack said that it is a first full-scale, design-build water-supply project that Ex-Im Bank has financed for an international client.
“Tetra Tech is proud to support the Government of Sri Lanka in this important effort to bring safe drinking water to its people. This transaction supports high-end technical jobs in the US and allows us to bring our best water services where they are needed most,” Batrack said.
According to Sri Lankan Government estimates in 2009, 79.5 per cent of the population had access to water supplies, but only 37.5 per cent of the population, or 8.06 million people, could access potable water through pipe-borne systems.