PHILIPSBURG, — On June 30th, The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Omar Ottley in collaboration with GEBE N.V. and Seven Seas Water Group (“SSWG”), a multinational provider of Water-as-a-Service® (“WaaS”) solutions signed a 2-year extension of the current water supply agreement. This agreement entailed renegotiating key terms and conditions which will yield savings of approximately $400,000.00 on water production annually for GEBE N.V. While it was the vision of Minister Omar Ottley for Sint Maarten to be able to own and manage our own water production plants at the end of this current contract (2025); GEBE N.V. has expressed that based on their strategic plan, the water distribution company will be fully capable of managing our own water production in 2027, hence the reason for signing the two-year extension.
Over the years GEBE N.V. and SSW have worked to find locals that are interested in the field of water production. To ensure that by 2027 Sint Maarten will be able to own and manage the current plants, the Desalination Resource Development Program (DRDP) has finally been activated. The DRDP is a scholarship execution plan that has been drafted, and the money shall be transferred within the coming months. This program will allow us to invest in our human capital to ensure a local team will be ready to take over operations.
Since 2007, SSWG has been the sole provider of reliable water for Sint Maarten following prolonged water shortages due to increased tourism, population growth, as well as operational inefficiencies at an existing water facility. Today, the plants have a production capacity of 6,400,000 GPD (23,900 m3/d) from its Pointe Blanche, Cupecoy, and Cay Bay facilities.
Minister Omar Ottley expressed his appreciation for the long-standing support of SSWG, stating, “The decision to extend our contract was based on the strong foundation of trust and collaboration that we have built with Seven Seas and the potential savings for our water distribution company GEBE N. V., with hopes to bring relief to the people of Sint Maarten. Our long-term relationship has been crucial in ensuring a reliable drinking water supply, and we are excited to continue working with the leading water provider in the Caribbean, as it demonstrates our commitment to the well-being and socio-economic progress of our citizens.”
“It has been a pleasure working with Minister Ottley and his team over the years and in the development of our future engagement,” stated Henry Charrabé, CEO of SSWG. “We are committed to the people of Sint Maarten and plan to invest further into the facilities and staff to ensure smooth and efficient operations for years to come.
Franklyn Richards, Managing Director of SSWG and former Governor of Sint Maarten added, “Thank you, Minister Ottley, for recognizing the exceptional quality of our services and our dedication to meet the needs of our people in Sint Maarten. We take pride in our expertise, experience, and state-of-the-art infrastructure, which enable us to deliver high-quality water to the people we serve.”