Heyliger: Government must ensure execution of GEBE concession terms

PHILIPSBURG–Government only uses utilities company GEBE as a cash cow to deal with its own budget woes; in doing this, Government has depleted the company of millions of dollars which could have been spent in buying new efficient engines and updating the country’s electrical and water infrastructure or at the least giving the consumers a reduction in tariff, says United People’s (UP) party leader Member of Parliament (MP) Theo Heyliger.

“It is completely unacceptable for the country, its people and businesses, to continuously be left in the dark from constant power outages,” said Heyliger on Sunday.

“GEBE has obligations set out in its concession of 2010 to the people of our country. Power cannot or should not be interrupted more than two times per month for no more than 120 minutes, that rule was for the whole country. The medical centre, airport and Philipsburg should be no more than one time per month for no more than 60 minutes,” Heyliger said.

“Our electricity company continues to have major challenges in keeping up with the demand of our community,” he said. “This shows itself in the severe damage to people’s appliances. This cost residents and businesses heavily. It is time GEBE gives voltage regulators or surge protectors to costumers to protect their electrical equipment.”

GEBE must present, based on Article 6 of its concession, multi annual plans every five years showing the investments to be made and Article 14 states GEBE must have two per cent of its electricity generated by renewable energy by 2015. “That date has of course passed and now we are two years further and nothing has been done,” said Heyliger.

GEBE penalises anyone who has renewable energy as the new meters no longer turn back. “Interesting is that on the north side of the island, renewable energy is incentivised and on the southern side penalised. Mind you, the same Government in its national energy policy of 2014 promotes the use of renewable energy and goes as far as wanting 80 per cent renewable by 2020,” he said.

Heyliger said it is time Government, based on the concession, instructs GEBE to allow the use of consumer renewable energy and allow the meters to at least run backwards. “In this day and age, this should be a priority as this Government tries to give the impression of being environmental by once in a while throwing plastic in a recycling bin,” he said.

The last update to the country’s electricity ordinance was done in 2010 by Heyliger in his tenure of commissioner. “Seven years later, nothing has changed nor has that ordinance even been carried out by Government,” said the UP leader.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/63396-heyliger-government-must-ensure-execution-of-gebe-concession-terms


  1. All these career politicians should be ashamed of their collective failure to lead this Island with the size of a small city in North Dakota. Sarah, Theo and William: All of them had all the political positions you can possibly think of. Member of parliament, Minister, Minister President, Island council member, executive council member, you name it, they had it, collected pay, cut ribbons and travelled all over the globe but failed to solve the two main problems the sint Maarten people still cope with every single day. An eyesore landfill that randomly goes on fire and poses a health threat to society and a power company that has told more tales why their engines ain’t running than they have staff. They can’t get it solved. So much is clear. So why do we keep voting these people back in positions where they don’t belong?

  2. You are sitting in an airconditioned villa backed up by generators with uninterruptive supply of power so far away from the average citizen…yawn! Nobody cares if you as a part of the overall problem have something to say about this chaos. Boring!

  3. Yeah easy to talk now, when you were in government we never heard about 5 year strategic plans and all of that. If you were serious, you would present a motion in Parliament demanding that GEBE be held to its concession. Talking big words in a press release does nothing.