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Meeting Municipal Water Demands

In 2007, several factors were contributing to prolonged water shortages on St. Maarten including increased tourism and population growth, as well as operational deficiencies at an existing water facility. An immediate increase in supply was required in order to meet the present demand and mitigate the potential for future water shortages.

In the midst of this prolonged water shortage, Air Fin Holding Sint Maarten N.V. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Seven Seas Water) won a tender to provide a new 3,785 m3 per day (M3/D) (1,000,000 GPD) Seawater Reverse Osmosis Plant (SWRO) and take over operations of the existing Cay Bay SWRO plant for the Sint Maarten Government (GEBE).

The Cay Bay plant was initially contracted to produce 13,489 M3/D (3,564,000 GPD) but the outdated and inefficient plant was only producing an average of 10,598 M3/D (2,800,223 GPD) and would require a thorough overhaul to restore its capacity and improve efficiency.

Seven Seas Water provided a solution that required no up-front capital investment from the government of Sint Maarten. In under 5 months from the time the water contract was signed, a state of the art 3,785 M3/D (1 MGD) SWRO desalination system was constructed at Cupecoy under a build-own-operate, and transfer (BOOT) arrangement where Seven Seas Water designed, constructed, and currently maintains the new plant. In a true team approach the Sint Maarten Water Authority (GEBE) and Seven Seas Water provide operators for the plant under Seven Seas management.

Seven Seas rehabilitated the Cay Bay facility to produce 13,247 M3/D (3,500,000 GPD) and greatly improved the efficiency with a system redesign which cut power costs per M3 of water by more than 30%. The decreased power demand reduces carbon and other emissions, freeing up valuable resources and making the process significantly more environmentally friendly.

In the process of providing Sint Maarten with a reliable supply of 17,032 M3/D (4,500,000 GPD) and reducing the power consumption, Seven Seas Water was able to significantly reduce the cost of water to Sint Maarten as well.


The material contained in this case study is provided for informational purposes only. The information contained is accurate only as of the date the case study was issued. Seven Seas Water disavows any obligation to update information contained in this case study after the date of issuance.