• The Star Staff

PRASA customer service appears heading into private hands

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) President Doriel Pagán Crespo confirmed on Monday that a public-private partnership agreement with a Spanish consortium comprising IBT and MIYA is being evaluated to take over customer service operations of the water utility for the next 20 years.

“I can assume that there is an evaluation process, but there is still no final decision,” Pagán Crespo said in a radio interview (Radio Isla 1320 AM).

Published reports indicate that the island’s Public Private Partnership (P3) Authority is slated to announce -- possibly before the end of August -- the consortium’s selection.

A document from the consortium states that “Puerto Rico has become one of MIYA’s markets, thanks to the recently granted concession,” and indicates that “the contract is expected to be finalized and receive approval from the government of Puerto Rico in the short term (August 2020).”

Pagán Crespo said the P3 will be for the customer service area. Only the Spanish consortium is being evaluated. She said privatization is necessary to guarantee the investment in infrastructure that the corporation needs.

P3 Authority Director Fermín Arraiza reportedly said the negotiations are continuing and that he could not anticipate whether the announcement will be made in August.