Tourism growth drives a power plant extension for St. Maarten

Wärtsilä Corporation, Trade press release 28 February 2005 at 16:00 UTC+2

The growth in tourism on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten is the driver behind a power plant extension to increase power supply. Wärtsilä has signed a USD 15.2 million contract to deliver two generating sets to GEBE (Gemeenschappelijk Electriciteidsbedrijf Bovenwindse Eilanden) N.V., the national utility of St. Maarten, the Netherlands Antilles (N.A.).

The contract calls for Wärtsilä to deliver two Wärtsilä 9L46 generating sets with a total electrical output of 16 MW. The project is an extension of GEBE’s existing 60 MW plant in Cay Bay, which is powered by both Stork and Wärtsilä engines. The new generating sets are expected to be online in November 2005, less than 12 months from the signing of the contract.

GEBE and Wärtsilä have been doing business together for more than 16 years. In 1989 Wärtsilä installed the first land-based Wärtsilä 46 engine in the existing plant which already comprised a Wärtsilä 32 engine. The plant was extended by two Wärtsilä 18V32 generating sets in 1993. In 2000, Wärtsilä built a new part to the diesel power plant for GEBE consisting of two Wärtsilä 9L46 generating sets. The latest extension will be done to the plant completed in 2000.

The gradual extension of the plant is in line with the island’s rising power demands due to the growth in hotels as more tourists discover the delights of the friendly Island of St. Maarten. Throughout the Caribbean, power reliability is the key to success and Wärtsilä engines have continually proved their reliability.

“With the addition of the two 8-megawatt engines, we are extending the power plant up to a level where we would be able to improve the reliability of our service and to reduce the cost of the production of electricity.  This is because these units are more cost-efficient than the older units,” said Julius Lambert, Managing Director of GEBE.  “We have been very pleased with Wärtsilä products and services with our other power plants and we are pleased to do business with them again.”

“We are very pleased to extend our long-standing business relationship with GEBE with this power plant extension project,” said Frank Donnelly, Vice President, Power Plants for Wärtsilä North America.  “We remain committed to delivering the highest quality products and services to this region that will allow electricity providers to offer increased reliability and to pass along lower generating costs to their customers.” Wärtsilä provides maintenance support to GEBE through its Caribbean office and service facility in nearby Puerto Rico.

For more information on Wärtsilä, please visit the website at or contact

Yvonne Rönn
Public Relations Manager, Power Plants
Wärtsilä Finland Oy
Direct tel: +358 10 709 1456
Direct fax: +358 10 709 1425

John Goss
Ceejay International Limited
Tel: +852 2310 1368
Fax: +852 2609 1351