SAN ANTONIO – The company hired by San Antonio Water System to build a 140-mile water pipeline wants more money from investors to fund the project.
Abengoa officials appeared before the SAWS board Tuesday to announce that the Spanish company needs investors to cover 80 percent of the funding for the Vista Ridge Pipeline Project. Originally, investors were asked to provide 49 percent.
The development comes after Abengoa filed for insolvency that allows the company to restructure itself in order to prevent filing for bankruptcy.
SAWS CEO and president Robert Puente said the funding increase doesn't demonstrate that the project, which will provide water to be piped from Burleson to Bexar counties, is on shaky ground.
Puente said the project is viable and there are protections built in place because SAWS was aware of the finance issue. Puente and Mayor Ivy Taylor said that SAWS will have full say on who the investors will be and that the new development will not affect SAWS customers in any way.
"I look forward to continue to work closely with Abengoa Vista Ridge and to ensure thorough vetting of new equity partners," Taylor said in a news release. "Before any changes are made, we will carry out detailed due diligence. Our most important goal is to ensure water for the future of San Antonio, and I'm confident we're moving in the right direction."
The projected cost to develop and build the pipeline is $184 million and the cost to maintain and operate it will be $3 billion.