George Town – The Cayman Water Company celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special Business After Hours (BAH) – the Chamber of Commerce’s networking event – on Thursday 31 August at their Abel Castillo Water Works in Governor’s Harbour.
“Fresh water from salt water – it’s the dream of mariners through the ages, and of every community who lives on a small island surrounded by sea,” said the Mike Gibbs, Chamber Past President who was representing the Chamber Council for the event. “What would our ancestors, and all those who settled these islands long ago and who survived despite immense difficulties have thought of such a wonder? Yet here we are, celebrating half a century of the miracle of freshwater being made from saltwater.”
Mr. Gibbs praised the company’s consistency in making provision for future demand, by planning for new facilities years in advance:
“Even as I speak, a new, much-higher capacity state-of-the-art reverse osmosis facility is nearing completion in Powery Road, West Bay. It will serve people, residences and businesses of West Bay for decades to come by providing one million gallons of freshwater every day, with potential to double that amount as the years progress.
It’s the most recent in a long list of milestones. In 1996 the Cayman Water Company was listed on the NASDAQ National Market in the U.S,” Mr. Gibbs said.
“Cayman Water’s sister company, Ocean Conversion Cayman Limited, designs, builds and operates high-capacity desalination plants for the Cayman Water Authority. But they’ve also been expanding their operation regionally, and indeed, internationally, helping communities around the world to flourish by providing them with the water they need.”
Cayman Water’s General Manager, Manuel Thomaz, spoke about the Company’s increasing capacity to keep pace with continually increasing demand, including the commissioning of the GHB-3 plant in 2019 where the event was being held. There was a tour of the facility during the evening, enabling attendees to see the reverse osmosis equipment.
Covid hit the country in 2020/2021 and demand decreased significantly, Mr. Thomaz said, however the company did not rest, and soon began designing a new plant to replace the old plant situated in West Bay.
“We are also building a new 2.6 MGD plant for the Water Authority at the Red Gate site. This plant is expected to be commissioned in February 2024” Mr. Thomaz said. “When the water is needed Cayman Water needs to be there to provide it.”
Since Mr. Thomaz has only been with the company since 2017, he called upon Helbert Rodriguez, who has worked there since 1989, to say a few words. Mr. Rodriguez traced the company’s evolution from using distillation at first, before changing over to reverse osmosis. He was pleased to be continuing the legacy of high standards and principles that were set by the earliest pioneers and founders of the Company.
All the attendees enjoyed the evening. Each received a nice deep-blue Consolidated Water Tote-bag, a cap and a frisbee. Later in the evening Mr. Thomaz helped to draw the raffle prizes, as excited winners came up, one by one, as their number was called. The nine raffle prizes consisted of beach bags, each one packed with a beach umbrella, pickleball set, beach mat and cooler.
Business After Hours is one of the Chamber’s most popular networking events, enabling chamber members and their friends, fand colleagues to network in a fun and informal atmosphere. Each event is hosted by a different Chamber member, enabling them to showcase their business and how it benefits the people of the Cayman Islands.