POINT BLANCHE - Minister Cornelius De Weever, responsible for production and distribution of water, has received word from Seven Seas Water that the equipment and installations with a long lead-time have been ordered and are available for the construction of the second seawater reverse osmosis plant, the Point Blanche II plant.
The long term Water Supply Agreement of Government with Seven Seas/AirFin, signed in November 2012, includes the supply, construction and operation of two new, state of the art reverse osmosis plant. These plants are modular systems capable of producing 3700 m3 per day each.
At an average household consumption of half a cubic meter per day, one plant produces sufficient water to supply 7400 homes on a daily basis.
The agreement states that the second plant shall be operational mid February 2016. Earlier this year (2014) SSW informed Government of its decision to build the second plant in 2014 if GEBE could install electricity and water lines to supply electricity to the plant and take in water from the plant. To this date, neither the Minister of Health responsible for water Cornelius De Weever nor the government has not received an answer from GEBE management, the Board of Supervisory Directors or its “Shareholder” representative. GEBE is not ready yet, as even the new pump station, buildt to take in the water from the first plant, is not connected to the grid, let alone being operational.
Having the second plant in service, leads to a very advantageous position with respect to installed capacity for production of drinking water, as it comes with no additional cost for Sint Maarten until February 2016. The second new plant will further safeguard the production of drinking water for the community and allows other production units to be scheduled out for maintenance.
Maintenance of storage tanks and water lines would be possible without running the risk of not being able to supply water to customers. The Harbour and GEBE could expand the profitable venture of supplying water to ships. More water could be supplied to the French side, which is also beneficial for Dutch Sint Maarten. SSW has committed itself to build the second plant as soon as GEBE can provide the infrastructure to supply power and take in water produced by the plant.
The Water Supply Agreement of Government and Seven Seas Water also include the supply of two water tanks. The first one is in operation. GEBE has however halted the construction the second water storage tank in Point Blanche for unknown reasons. The foundation has been completed and all tank sections are in Sint Maarten storedin containers awaiting action of GEBE. (From the Cabinet of the Minister of Public Health)