Five desal plants online a month after hurricane hit Cayman Islands

A month after Hurricane Ivan lambasted the islands, Consolidated Water reports supplying water to entire distribution system...

Oct 22nd, 2004

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Oct. 19, 2004 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -- Consolidated Water Co. Ltd., which develops and operates seawater conversion plants and water distribution systems in areas where natural supplies of drinking (i.e., potable) water are scarce, reported production has resumed at five of the six seawater desalination plants operated by the company on Grand Cayman Island and that the company is supplying water to its entire distribution system on a 24/7 basis.

"We consider this an outstanding achievement, in light of the significant damage caused last month by Hurricane Ivan, the most devastating hurricane to hit the Cayman Islands in the past 72 years," stated Jeffrey Parker, chairman of Consolidated Water Co. Ltd.

Electricity from the public utility has been restored to the West Bay plant, which is now operating at 100% of capacity. The Governor's Harbour plant was restored to 100% of capacity late last week, on power provided by Company generators. The North Sound and Red Gate water production plants, which have been able to access electrical power from the public utility, are operating at 100% of capacity. Containerized generator sets have been installed at the Lower Valley plant, which is currently operating at 100% capacity. The Britannia plant, the smallest of the six facilities, was significantly damaged by storm surge that flooded the plant building with seawater, and it may be a total loss.

The company is now meeting a reduced customer demand for water without the Britannia plant production. It believes lost sales during the period from late Sept. 11-17, when the company was unable to produce any water, coupled with lower demand due to the present closures of some tourism-related properties within its distribution area, will negatively impact previous earnings estimates for 2004. The exact impact to earnings is unknown at this time.

Management reports that Consolidated Water's headquarters staff continues to operate out of temporary facilities and is providing excellent service to customers. However, disruptions in administrative activities during the past several weeks will require the company to take a five-day extension in the filing of its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended Sept. 30. It may be seeking additional delays in other reporting deadlines for internal controls and other improvements mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act due to hurricane recovery efforts.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. is engaged in the development and operation of seawater conversion plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or nonexistent. The Company currently operates reverse osmosis seawater conversion facilities in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Barbados, Belize and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

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