GEBE’s Wärtsilä generator being offloaded back in 2016. (File photo)
PHILIPSBURG--The challenges facing the economy due to the COVID-19 crisis have not deterred utilities company GEBE from pursuing the purchase of a new engine, which the company said is necessary to help bolster its capacity.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenrick Chittick told The Daily Herald on Tuesday that the acquisition of the new engine is pending financing and the financing is pending approval by the company’s Supervisory Board of Directors.
“The new engine is surely needed to meet the demand when all hotels are back on line and up to capacity,” Chittick said when asked about the matter. “With the construction in Cupecoy there will be a need for additional power. At present we are able to meet the demand, but continued investment is needed.”
When asked about financiers Chittick said the company had approached both local, regional and international financiers and it has now boiled down to a local bank and possible international financier, depending on the approval for the project.
He alluded to the impending change in the company’s management and indicated that this may cause some delays in the investment.
Chittick had said last year that the intention was to acquire the new engine last year and have it commissioned this year. He said at the time that the intention was to secure the engine from one of the reliable manufacturers whether it was Wärtsilä, Caterpillar, Mitsubishi or another manufacturer.
A new 11.2 megawatt Wärtsilä engine (Diesel Generator 20) arrived in the country in September 2016 and was placed on line in December of that same year. That generator replaced aged units that had been plaguing the company with increased maintenance at that time.