The recovery of St. Maarten: Opportunities for Dutch companies

St. Maarten was violently hit by hurricane Irma in 2017 which prompted the Dutch untitledgovernment to provide funds to help with the recovery. The Dutch government contributed 550 million euros of which EUR 470 million placed in a trust fund, managed by the World Bank Group, and EUR 80 million used for emergency aid and other activities needed to offer immediate relieve to the people of St. Maarten.


On September 28th Team International Organizations (TIO) of the Netherlands Enterprise Institute (RVO) organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations, NL in Business, and the World Bank Group an informational day to raise awareness for potential private sector opportunities to be created when the trust fund money is allocated to projects. This event was the starting point to inform the private sector on opportunities within different sectors. 200 people from 160 companies attended the event which was focused on the sectors Infrastructure, Solid Waste Management, and Utilities (Water and Energy).

The Plan: Current Opportunities

The government of St. Maarten created a recovery plan: the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). Together with the Dutch ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations and the World Bank they form the steering committee for the trust fund. The role of the steering committee is to decide which projects are in line with the NRRP. The trust fund is not sufficient to cover all the damages caused by the hurricane which is estimated at 2,5 billion euros. Therefore the first phase of dispensing funds will focus on high priority projects aimed at structural recovery of infrastructure (airport), solid waste management, and utilities (water and energy).


One of the current World Bank Group projects on St. Maarten focuses on immediate repairs to better protect the island against future natural disasters. Alternative sources of energy (solar), improvement of sanitation (for tourism) as well as solutions for sustainable water supply are being explored. These solutions include incorporating current investments, governance policy, and revisiting the laws and regulations.

Solid Waste Management

The World Bank addressed certain activities that could potentially be incorporated in Solid Waste Management projects. For the preparation and execution of the projects, St. Maarten and the World Bank will need different services and products: research, project management, materials, and companies that will execute the projects. These projects include but are not limited to firefighting, reorganization of the landfill, and collection of debris from buildings, shipwrecks etc. To find long term structural solutions studies will need to be done.

Utilities (Water & Energy)

The organization of the electricity and water supply on the island is limited. The attention will be focused on a business plan for GEBE, the electricity company of St. Maarten. Through an assessment the financial capacity and the possibility of privatization will be determined.


At this junction we recommend companies read up on the latest information distributed by the government of St. Maarten and World Bank Group. If you believe your company can contribute to one of the projects please contact the government organization Interim Recovery Committee (IRC) which is responsible for the publication of all tenders. Team International Organizations (TIO), part of RVO, can advise on procedures to help you on your way to success.

The links below will provide you with more information and documentation.


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