NADB authorizes US$5.3 million loan for wastewater project in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila

Aug. 21, 2002
The Board of Directors of the North American Development Bank (NADB) approved a US$5.3 million loan for the Comprehensive Sanitation Project in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila.

San Antonio, Texas, August 21, 2002 -- The Board of Directors of the North American Development Bank (NADB) approved a US$5.3 million loan for the Comprehensive Sanitation Project in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila.

These funds are being provided through the NADB's Low Interest Rate Lending Facility (LIRF), which allows the Bank to offer loans at lower-than-market rates.

"Thanks to the Bank's new low-interest lending mechanism, Ciudad Acuna has the financing it needs to carry out its project at a cost it can afford," commented Agustin Carstens, Mexico's Undersecretary of Treasury and Public Finance and co-chair of the NADB's Board of Directors. "With this mechanism and its other financing programs, the NADB will continue working with border communities to design financial packages that best meet the particular economic and financial circumstances of each project" concluded.

This US$78.8 million project is divided into three phases to be carried out over 20 years. It consists of the construction, rehabilitation and expansion of the primary and secondary sewer systems, as well as construction of a wastewater treatment plant. Upon completion of the second phase of this project, sewer service coverage will be increased from 75 percent to 100 percent of the population, which means a larger amount of wastewater will be recovered and adequately treated prior to its discharge into the Rio Grande.

The local water utility, Sistema Municipal de Aguas y Saneamiento de Ciudad Acuna (SIMAS), which is responsible for carrying out the project, is also receiving a US$16.73 million grant from NADB through the EPA-funded Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), which will be applied to the construction costs of phases II and III of the project. The first phase of the project is still in progress with work continuing on the expansion of the sewer lines, while the treatment plant has been completed and is in operation.

"NADB's participation in our wastewater program is a great benefit for our city," commented Ramon Segura, manager of SIMAS. "Thanks to the efforts of the Mayor and the assistance of the Bank, the project is moving forward with great benefits for the residents of Ciudad Acuna."

In addition to the loan for Ciudad Acuna, the NADB Board of Directors approved a US$4.75 million low-interest loan for a water and wastewater project in Fabens, Texas, as well as a financial package for a solid waste project in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, which includes a US$1.25 million low-interest loan and a $500,000 grant through its Solid Waste Environment Program (SWEP).

Through its Loan and Guaranty Program, the NADB has authorized loans totaling more than US$35 million to support the construction of environmental infrastructure in various communities, which will benefit residents on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The North American Development Bank, created under the auspices of NAFTA, is a financial institution established and capitalized in equal parts by the United States and Mexico for the purpose of financing environmental infrastructure projects along their common border.

As a pioneer institution in its field, the Bank is working to develop integrated, sustainable and fiscally responsible projects with broad community support in a framework of close cooperation and coordination between Mexico and the United States.

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