photo: Hazel Durand

THE BOTTOM – Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp has officially opened Saba’s new electricity plant on Monday during his visit to Saba. In February of this year, after 45 years Saba’s new automated electrical plant was switched on and Saba now has its own electrical power plant.

“This opening marks another big success for Saba, it showcases Saba Electric Company (SEC) as a well-established company. It is remarkable if you consider that it did not exist until 2014, because until then the company was still apart of GEBE, which has its main operations on St. Maarten”, Kamp remarked.

Saba Electric Company was founded in the 1960’s by Saba’s own Elmer W. Linzey and his aunt Atthello Maude Jackson and only in 1970 did electricity become available 24 hours. SEC provides electricity to approximately 1200 customers.

Minister Kamp is assisted by Edwina Linzey widow of SEC founder the late Elmer Linzey with the official ribbon cutting – photo: Hazel Durand

The new power plant now enables the integration of wind and solar power, the new building is now situated in a safer and convenient location, operational cost have been reduced and the building has been modernized. “Solar installations are already on the roof of the new building, which contributes to 50 percent of the plants own consumption”, SEC Director Dexter Johnson highlighted.

Minister Kamp noted that before Saba separated from GEBE, there were already discussions on how SEC could be turned into a viable company with affordable rates for its customers. “In 2013 we agreed this would mean reducing diesel consumption and this has been achieved with the new power plant and more energy will be saved with the construction of the first solar plant by 2017 and second in 2018. Funds have already been allocated for this project.”

6.5 million dollars
“The total cost of the project was 6.5 million dollars, much more than the original estimation”, noted Johnson. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs subsidized 4.6 million euros to realize this project. “This is greatly appreciated by SEC and the people of Saba”, said Johnson.