Baja California.- Due to financial unfeasibility and the rise in the peso-dollar price, the Jaime Bonilla “Morena Pary” government canceled the desalination plant that would be built in Rosarito to supply water to an area of the state and southern California.
Salomón Faz, Secretary of Water in the entity, confirmed the cancellation and said that, due to the rise in construction costs, the Private Public Association contract signed in 2016 by the PAN government Francisco Vega De Lamadrid, was void
Milton Rubio, representative of the company Aguas de Rosarito, a subsidiary of Consolidated Water, a company specialized in the construction of desalination plants in the world and based in the Cayman Islands, told Apro , at the beginning of last June that, if the project was canceled, it would demand to the state government with at least $ 100 million.
In the interview, Milton Rubio said that until now the Consolidated Water company had invested 50 million dollars, just in the purchase of the land, the payment of the project, the investment in the rights of way, the preparation of the Project Manifesto. Environmental, and other elements.
If the project is canceled, he announced on that occasion: “I will sue them for double the amount invested because there is a signed contract.”
The National Action government, in the form of Public-Private Association, signed the contract with the company. The state government promised to acquire debt of at least seven billion pesos and guarantee each monthly payment with a fund of at least 149 million pesos that would come from the collection of the payroll tax.
But, in addition, the contract was signed in dollars, in that 2016 at a price of 17 pesos per dollar. Now, as the peso lost value against the dollar, costs rose, making the project unfeasible.
The term for debt has expired
For the past three months, Milton Rubio was in negotiation with the state finance ministry, in an attempt to reach an agreement before June 30, the day the deadline for the government to pay off the debt with banks.
As the date approached, the Secretary of Water said that there were two positions within the state government. One of them is to sell water to the United States in order to make the project even more viable.
Faz was told that, if that proposal is not carried out, the company will sue them for double the amount invested, to which he replied that the government will face all the commitments it has signed, including the payments that have to be made.
Faced with the cancellation, for the moment, since the term granted by the local congress to the state government for borrowing expired, both parties – government and company – must agree on the amount of the investment. At the moment different figures are handled.
While the company talks about 50 million pesos, the Jaime Bonilla government considers an approximate of 24.4 million dollars.