U.S. Virgin Islands Awards Design-Build-Operate Contract;

Water Partnership with Veolia Water North America

Veolia Water will design, build and construct this 4-million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment facility on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This new wastewater treatment facility, to be designed, constructed and operated by Veolia Water, will treat approximately 4 million gallons per day of wastewater on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 7, 2004--The Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands has awarded its first-ever design-build-operate contract to a private- sector firm for the development of a comprehensive, long-term solution to the wastewater management needs of the St. Thomas and St. Croix islands.

VWNA Caribbean, LLC., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Veolia Water North America Operating Services Inc., (Veolia Water) has won a $123 million, 20-year contract to design, construct and operate two new 4-million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment facilities. One facility, the Anguilla wastewater treatment plant, will be located on St. Croix. The second facility, the St. Thomas Red Point wastewater treatment plant, will be located on St. Thomas and includes the decommissioning of existing lagoons on that site. A five-year renewal option for continued operations is also part of the contract.

"Critical in our decision was that we wanted the highest possible international standards for these two projects," said Commissioner Wayne D. Callwood of the Department of Public Works. "Veolia Water provides that standard."

Through treatment of the waste stream, Veolia Water will help the territory meet the requirements of a 1996 agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concerning ocean discharge.

"This truly is some of the most pristine water in the world," said Joe Ortiz, regional vice president, Veolia Water North America. "Our objective is to keep this water at its unspoiled level by treating the waste stream using our proven technology and years of operating expertise."

Veolia Water expects the design phase of the contract to last 10 months, followed by a construction phase lasting approximately 24 months. Both new wastewater plants should be fully operational in two-and-a-half years.

In addition to working with the U.S. Virgin Islands on the two new facilities, Veolia Water has been working with island officials on an emergency basis since early February to help repair St. Croix's collection system and pump stations. "We quickly mobilized a team of experts and moved in to help. Immediate access to technology and expertise is just one of the many benefits local governments realize when partnering with the private sector for water services," added Ortiz.