19 June 2018

Mauritius: Budget 2018-2019 - Investing in the Public Utilities Sector Remains Government's Priority

press release

Budget 2018-2019 makes provision for a water supply infrastructure development programme which will be geared towards improving water supply across the country. In this context, over the next three years some Rs 3.3 billion will be invested in the replacement of 300 kilometers of pipeline, the construction of five service reservoirs, the replacement of 75 000 water meters, and the construction of the water treatment plant at Bagatelle.

The Water Tank Scheme will be extended to reach out to an additional 30 000 households over the next three years and the income eligibility threshold under the scheme will be increased from Rs 25 000 to Rs 30 000. Moreover, according to this Budget, an individual investing in a rainwater harvesting system will be allowed to deduct the total cost of such a system from his taxable income.

In view to discourage excessive water usage, domestic customers who have a swimming pool will have to pay a fixed additional monthly charge of Rs 500 if their monthly water consumption exceeds 50 cubic meters.

Electricity

Government aims to maintain an energy system that features environmental and economic sustainability while ensuring an adequate supply at all times. It caters for the provision of additional energy generation capacity, increasing the contribution of renewable energy technologies, and implementing energy efficiency measures.

The Budget provides for various projects to improve efficiency and productivity in the energy production. These are:

· Commissioning up to 6 additional solar farms

· Increasing battery storage from 4 MW to 18MW

· Implementing a waste-to-energy project that will generate at least 20 MW of electricity

· Introducing a new Small-Scale Distributed Generation (SSDG) Scheme

- Increase the mandatory energy efficiency labelling to two other types of household electrical appliances

- Increase the number of energy audits in Government owned buildings

- Develop a framework to encourage the use of energy-efficient air conditioners

Undergrounding by Central Electricity Board

The Central Electricity Board will be investing around Rs 1.2 billion over the next 3 years for the undergrounding of some 150 kms of its low voltage distribution lines to improve reliability of supply, and install around 25 000 smart meters annually to pave the way for automatic metering and the development of the smart grid.

Wastewater Management

As regards wastewater, Budget 2018-2019 provides for the construction of sewerage facilities to connect 7 800 more buildings and residences to the system. It also has as objective to extend the sewerage network across the country through an increase of the proportion of premises connected to the sewerage infrastructure from 27 percent in 2017 to 30 percent in 2020 and to 50 percent in 2030.

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