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It’s probably the single most important development in construction on the island of Sint-Maarten in the past ten years: the construction of the brand-new, state-of-the-art wet-mix concrete factory in Sucker Garden by local company St. Maarten Concrete NV. The facility was built by internationally renowned company Putzmeister in Germany, fired up its engines during the second half of last year, and has already proven its worth.
The new factory was officially opened in November of last year, just in time to deliver the largest single pour of concrete in the history of Sint-Maarten. On November 3rd, almost 750 meters of concrete were delivered to the Welgelegen Road in Cay Hill, just a few minutes to the west of Philipsburg, to be used as foundation for the new St. Maarten Medical Centre. The Putzmeister software and hardware engineers that had installed the entire facility on the island were still on hand even to witness the first pour of the new creation first-hand.
The new Sucker Garden facility is unique not just in Sint-Maarten, but in the entire region. As a matter of fact, St- Maarten Concrete NV is the only company in the Caribbean that owns and operates both a wet mix and a dry mix facility. Dry mix consists usually of collecting the necessary dry materials on site and then mixing them with water to make concrete, while wet mix refers to the creation of complete mixes, including water, that need to be stored in concrete trucks and can be delivered directly to the construction site in question.
“We have been working on our capacity building”, said St. Maarten Concrete NV founder Franklin David on the day of the inauguration of the new plant, “To be the best, we had to invest significantly in making sure we have more trucks on the road for pumping and delivering concrete. We are constantly looking for new talent, adding skilled drivers, batch plant operators, and field and lab techs to our already large team of locals”. The current team was trained by Putzmeister’s own engineers and software developers to ensure they can operate the facility to the best of its considerable potential.
Up to global standards
A key part of the construction process of the new concrete factory was full compliance with the so-called NEN norms of operation. NEN, which stands for Stichting Koninklijk Nederlands Normalisatie Instituut (Royal Netherlands Standardization Institute), is a globally recognized norm for the quality and safety of products, services, and processes. Among other things, this quality requirement has led St. Maarten Concrete NV to build a complete in-house laboratory where it can create custom concrete mix designs and test the quality of its creations.
“The new wet-mix plant meets the requirements of commercial, real estate, and infrastructure projects”, wrote Putzmeister in a statement about the new Sucker Garden facility, “Putzmeister uses the best German engineering to design and manufacture batching plants that meet the requirements of the global construction industry. The new wet-mix batching plant offers high productivity, high tech operation, ease of maintenance, and a clean and safe working environment”. With the new plant up to scratch and working at full strength, Sint-Maarten is ready to become the stand-out regional reference for concrete production.
The basis for this article was originally published on www.antilliaansdagblad.com in November 2021.