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U.S. $13 million in funding approved for the development of three new water and wastewater environmental projects

Posted on January 31, 2017

U.S. $13 million in funding approved for the development of three new water and wastewater environmental projects

BECC/NADB Board held its biannual Public Meeting Coordination Agreement signed by NADB, BECC, and CANACINTRA NADB AND Mission Solar Energy will provide solar power facility for pediatric cancer center in Tijuana

The Board of Directors of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADB) held its second biannual meeting on November 17, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.

After a private morning session, the Board of Directors assembled again in the afternoon to hold its public meeting, which was attended by various municipal, state and federal officials, private project sponsors, and prominent figures from the U.S.-Mexico border community. Some of the most relevant announcements included the approval of three new environmental infrastructure projects in the water and wastewater sector, representing an estimated total investment of US $28.4 million. These projects, which together will receive US $13.3 million in grant funding, will benefit about 35,500 residents in the communities of Nogales, Sonora; Douglas, Arizona; and El Paso, Texas.

As part of the public meeting agenda, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor addressed participants to make some welcoming remarks and said: “I am very proud to have the North American Development Bank headquartered in our great city and we truly believe in its mission.”

Board Chair Gretchen Biery, Director of the Office of Multilateral Development Banks, U.S. Department of the Treasury, stressed that the three projects approved during this session “will truly improve the lives and the environment of U.S. and Mexican residents along the border.”

During the public session, a cooperative agreement was signed between NADB, BECC, Mexico´s National Chamber of the Manufacturing Industry (CANACINTRA) and the Oportunidades para Emprendedores, S.A.P.I. de C.V. SOFOM, E.N.R. (Financiera Emprendedores), a financial entity that focuses on assisting entrepreneurs to create viable and profitable businesses. The main objectives of the agreement include working together to identify projects eligible to receive NADB financing from among CANACINTRA’s affiliates, designing a joint financing mechanism with Financiera Emprendedores to facilitate access to NADB-funded loans for CANACINTRA’s affiliates, and facilitating energy efficiency training for CANACINTRA affiliates and Financiera Emprendedores staff.

The agreement was formally signed by CANACINTRA National President Enrique Guillen Mondragon, Financiera Emprendedores CEO Juan Carlos Sierra Boche, NADB Managing Director Geronimo Gutierrez Fernandez, and BECC General Manager Maria Elena Giner.  

In his remarks, Enrique Guillen recognized the role of the NADB “as partner and bilateral catalyst in the communities located along the U.S.-Mexico border.” He also said “this will help promote the development and financing of projects of mutual interest in the border region with strategic actions that give CANACINTRA members access to loans from this bank, and to bids and programs in which they may participate.”

Finally, a Letter of Acceptance was signed between NADB, Mission Solar Energy Company of San Antonio, Texas, and the Castro Limón Foundation, A.C., to support the development of an energy efficiency project at a pediatric cancer center in Tijuana, Baja California.

Mission Solar Energy will donate solar panels for the construction of a solar power facility and NADB will provide US$125,000 in technical assistance for the project´s design, development and implementation. The consulting firm Enertis, Inc. will be responsible for supervising the project, and once the solar system is installed, the cancer center is expected to obtain substantial savings in its electricity costs.

Roberto Castro, president of this Foundation, said that to date, 51 children have been declared cancer free by this hospital. He underscored that this support is very important to the Pediatric Cancer Center, as “these solar panels are a great help and will make it possible to obtain great energy savings.” “This hospital we are building will be environmentally sustainable,” he said, and he thanked the NADB and the Board for their assistance.

Various statements were made by the public during the meeting, including comments by Ciudad Acuña and Matamoros Mayors, Evaristo Lenin Perez-Rivera and Jesus de la Garza-Diaz del Guante, and Cecilia Olague, Secretary of Urban Development and Ecology for the State of Chihuahua, among others.

Mayor Perez-Rivera acknowledged “the unstinting and continuing support of these institutions, especially the assistance provided during the tragic floods of 2014.” He said these cities have a long history of working with the BECC and NADB and that he witnessed this during his first period as mayor in 2008, with the project for the construction of drains and wastewater collection infrastructure. In addition, he presented a project for a rainwater channel that will address the recurrent flood problems in this community.

Mayor De la Garza-Diaz del Guante said: “The spirit in which the BECC and NADB were created has made it possible to better understand our condition as neighbors and the multiple points of contact that link the communities of both sides of the border.” He described the work agenda he has laid out with the two organizations, emphasizing the technical assistance provided for the development of final designs during the third phase of the Comprehensive Water and Wastewater Program (CWWP), the assistance provided to recover the solid waste management system, an emerging paving program, the energy efficiency program for the JAD water utility, and a special marsh recovery project.

During an interview, Secretary Olague said the new Government of Chihuahua “sees the BECC and NADB as institutions with which it will be possible to advance various programs,” including clean electricity, LED lamps, paving, and sanitary landfill construction and equipment –in addition to obtaining energy from these landfills– and promote mobility programs that include access to bike lanes and clean energy programs in cities throughout the state, as well as “the rehabilitation of public areas that  holistically contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

In connection to the newly certified project for Nogales, Sonora, OOMAPAS Manager Juan Carlos Corrales recognized the financial assistance approved for wastewater collection projects in six subdivisions of this community, and said that “they benefit the two sister cities of Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Arizona, because the implementation of this project helps counteract fecal contamination caused by the use of latrines in the area.”

Likewise, the new City Manager for Bisbee, Arizona, Richard J. Marsh Jr., also expressed his appreciation for the financing obtained for wastewater collection projects in his city.

BECC and NADB Managers, Maria Elena Giner and Geronimo Gutierrez, respectively, highlighted the approval of financing for three new projects. The BECC General Manager said the Board of Directors meeting was important “because of the opportunity to listen to public comments, and some decisions that were made related to efforts by the two institutions regarding integration.” She underscored the Board´s review of “our four emerging issues: energy efficiency, climate change, green infrastructure and results measurement.”

NADB's Managing Director said this meeting allowed the Board to “review results... and also project a little for next year and into the future.” Regarding future initiatives, he noted that both the BECC and the NADB “have had a significant role in structuring” a desalination plant in Rosarito, Baja California, and he reported that other large-scale projects such as wind power are being developed with the new Government of Tamaulipas.

Geronimo Gutierrez concluded his interview by referring to the challenge posed by the BECC/NADB merger. “We are already working as if we were a single organization and we hope to finalize by next year what is missing from the process, both as to the legal aspects and as to a capital increase for the NADB.”

For video on the public meeting, please use the following link: 
BECC-NADB Board of Directors Public Meeting 2016




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