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BECC/NADB Board of Directors in California and Baja California

Posted on June 05, 2015

BECC/NADB Board of Directors in California and Baja California

• On May 13, NADB Managing Director Geronimo Gutierrez was the guest speaker at the San Diego Chamber of Commerce meeting; Treasury and Foreign Affairs Board members also attended the event • Also on May 13, Board members visited the Children’s Hospital of the Californias with guests from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce • The Board visited facilities in Tecate and Rosarito • On May 14, the Board of Directors held a private meeting, a press conference and finally, a Public Meeting in Tijuana • The Board of Directors approved US $24.8 million in funding to support four new infrastructure projects • More than 95,000 residents of the U.S.-Mexico border will benefit from these projects

On Wednesday, May 13 and Thursday, May 14, the Board of Directors of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADB) had two days of intense activities in California and Baja California. 

On the first day at noon, NADB Managing Director Geronimo Gutierrez was a guest speaker at a meeting of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. At this event attended by business leaders from the communities of San Diego and Tijuana, the bank official presented the makeup of the two institutions and the role they can play as catalysts for the economy of this dynamic region, with “grand vision” infrastructure projects. Board members in attendance included Department of Treasury and Foreign Affairs representatives Michael Kaplan and Ana Luisa Fajer.

Later that day, Board members and guests visited the Children’s Hospital of the Californias, near the Otay border crossing in Tijuana, where they toured a photovoltaic facility installed with assistance from NADB and BECC.During the bus tour, Board members and guests from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce listened to descriptions of potential projects, such as the site for the possible project Otay II commercial border crossing. Next, the delegation headed to Tecate through the lower part of La Rumorosa. There, Patricia Ramirez, General Director of the local utility (CESPTE), accompanied by Mayor Cesar Moreno, presented water and wastewater projects certified and funded by the two binational organizations. The visit site was the underserved Piedra Angular Colonia, located along the road to Ensenada. A wastewater collection and sewer connections project is about to be kicked off in this colonia with assistance from NADB’s Community Assistance Program (CAP).

The group then traveled to the Rosarito I Wastewater Treatment Plant certified and funded by the BECC and NADB, where Alfonso Alvarez-Juan, General Director of the Tijuana utility (CESPT) highlighted the impact that the two organizations have had in terms of sanitation for this young municipality.

The tour wrapped up at a local hotel in Rosarito, where Mayor Silvano Abarca welcomed attendees and underscored the relevance of the basic infrastructure project that was certified by the Board of Directors the following day.

On May 14, at their private meeting, the BECC/NADB Board of Directors approved the certification and financing of four new infrastructure projects in the U.S.-Mexico border region, which will receive loans and grants totaling US$24.87 million.

The above was announced both at a press conference held at noon, and in the afternoon at the Public Meeting held in the Federico Campbell Multipurpose Room at CECUT. In addition to the certification of these projects, the Board presented an update on issues related to the BECC/NADB merger.

“First of all, we are pleased that the governments have made very significant progress with the institutional integration of these two entities. We will continue working to have an agreement on an amended charter in the near future” stated Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez Miranda, Board Chair and Head of the International Affairs Unit at Mexico’s Ministry of Finance. “We are pleased to announce the approval of the first cogeneration facility that NADB and BECC helped develop. Water utilities have great potential for producing clean electricity for their own consumption that will make their costs and operations more efficient while at the same time contributing to better air quality,” she added.

The four new infrastructure projects approved today will impact more than 95,000 residents in the Mexican states of Baja California and Chihuahua, and in Arizona, on the U.S. side. 

The basic urban infrastructure project located in Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, will provide first-time paving of more than 34,000 square meters of streets and other roadway improvements, replace aging water and wastewater infrastructure, and improve the public lighting system. NADB is providing a loan estimated at US$16.25 million, of which approximately US$4.1 million will be used for the new infrastructure and equipment, and the rest will be used to refinance an existing NADB loan on more favorable terms.

The project approved in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, consists of the design, construction and operation of a 1.35-Megawatt (MW) cogeneration facility and the acquisition of equipment and improvements to the sludge management system at the South Wastewater Treatment Plant. This project is anticipated to produce approximately 7.43 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity in the first year of operation or the equivalent to the annual energy consumption of over 1,000 households. It is expected to save between 40 and 50 percent of the electricity required to operate the plant, which currently consumes more than 16.8 GWh of electricity a year. NADB will be providing a US$3.5 million loan for this project.

Two other projects benefiting Arizona were also approved—a wastewater treatment project in Willcox and a water main project in Nogales. The City of Willcox will receive a US$4.62 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF), which is administered by NADB, to improve the wastewater treatment process for the existing 26 lps plant and bring it into compliance with all applicable state laws and regulations, and to eliminate inadequately treated discharges into Lake Cochise.

The City of Nogales, Arizona will receive a grant of up to US$500,000 through NADB’s Community Assistance Program (CAP) for the replacement of the Crawford Street water main, which will provide access to safe and reliable drinking water services, directly benefiting 330 residential connections, eliminating service interruptions and reducing water losses.

During the Public Meeting, the top BECC and NADB officials presented an update on the tasks completed in 2014. NADB Managing Director Geronimo Gutierrez said: “16 projects totaling US $1.3 billion were certified in 2014 –10 water, wastewater collection and/or treatment projects, 3 wind energy projects, 1 solar power facility, 1 street paving and 1 public transportation project. Additionally, US $316.7 million in funding were approved, including US $304.3 million in loans and US $12.4 million in grants for 7 projects.” 

BECC General Manager Maria Elena Giner explained that 20 projects were certified, completed and put into operation in 2014, including 3 water projects, 12 wastewater projects, and 5 renewable energy projects. These projects include the installation of 9.5 kilometers of water pipelines and improvements to benefit 150,000 residents of 3 communities; 4,244 residential connections in 10 communities to provide first-time residential wastewater collection services to 148,939 residents and reclaim 319 liters per second of treated wastewater. These projects also helped produce 114 MW of power from renewable sources, contributing to prevent the emission of approximately 210,094 metric tons/year of CO2, the equivalent of taking 44,230 private vehicles out of circulation.

The BECC General Manager also reported that the two organizations awarded US $4.03 million in technical assistance in 2014. BECC awarded US $358,406 for 8 studies, EPA contributed US $1.689 million, the Border 2020 program used EPA funding to support 29 studies totaling US $1.487 million, and NADB financed 7 studies worth US $494,132.

Michael Kaplan, Co-Chairman of the Board and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for the Western Hemisphere, said: “BECC and NADB are practical examples of the collaboration between the governments of both countries for the benefit of their residents and the environment.”

The BECC/NADB Public Meeting, co-chaired by Dr. Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez and Michael Kaplan, gathered more than 200 attendees from both countries, primarily border residents. In the presidium were also Dr. Carlos Graizbord, Secretary of Environmental Protection for Baja California on behalf of Governor Francisco A. Vega de la Madrid; Dr. Jorge E. Aztiazarán Orci, Mayor of Tijuana; Serge Dedina, Mayor of Imperial Beach, Board members Rachel Poynter, U.S. Department of State; Randolph L. Hill, EPA; Armando Yañez, Mexico’s Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Ana Luisa Fajer, General Director for North America, Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations; Denise Moreno-Ducheny, U.S. Border State Representative; and Marcela Andrade, head of the State Coordination Unit at Mexico’s Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and new member of the Board of Directors as Mexican Border State Representative. Additionally, the Presidium included BECC and NADB Managers, Maria Elena Giner and Geronimo Gutiérrez.

Video of the two-day event is available (NADB-BECC Board Meeting)

Interviews with participants are the the following links:

Marcela Andrade

Serge Dedina

Carlos Graizborg

Roberto Olivares

Patricia Ramírez




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