A government statement said that Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer met with a Chinese delegation, headed by Ambassador David Shoul, to discuss the repayment of the loans to be used for the “construction of a number of facilities and infrastructure”, including the multi-purpose cultural centre.
The statement said that the loans in excess of US$23 million due for repayment between 2004 to 2012 will now be repaid between 2016 and 2027.
Prime Minister Spencer said that the payment rescheduling comes at an opportune time as Antigua and Barbuda and other regional governments battle the global economic and financial crisis.
Meanwhile, the Antigua and Barbuda government will on Thursday commission a new Chinese-funded 30-megawatt power-generation plant which will improve the ability of the Antigua Public Utility Authority (APUA) to supply reliable electricity to its domestic and commercial clients.
“Antigua, God willing, should have no more problems with electricity,” said Ambassador Shoul, adding that he is confident that the new facility will improve the nation’s outlook for future development.
“When the Chinese generator comes online, the capacity of the power generation in Antigua will be sufficient to meet our needs, regardless of the size of future developments.
“What I also like about the power plant is that it is now owned by Antiguans and Barbudans – APUA is Antigua’s and Barbuda’s company,” said Ambassador Shoul.
“If you own something outright, there can be no better way, properly managed, properly controlled. I think the benefits to the country should be tremendous,” he said.