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Published On: Thu, Jul 22nd, 2021

How Dutch is Ballast Nedam?

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PHILIPSBURG — Ballast Nedam is generally recognized as a Dutch construction company. There is however nothing Dutch about the chairman of the board or about Ballast Nedam’s parent company.

The chairman of the board is Cenk Düzyol. The immediate parent company of Ballast Nedam is Renaissance Construction B.V. and the ultimate parent company is Rönesans Holding A.Ş., based in Turkey. Renaissance, a 100 percent daughter of Rönesans, obtained all shares in Ballast Nedam in 2015.

Rönesans was established in 1993 in St. Petersburg in Russia. It ranks 23rd among the world’s top 250 contractors, The company is active in 28 countries, has 75.118 employees and a reported revenue in 2020 of $5.4 billion.

Present-day Ballast Nedam has 1.815 employees, spread over 28 locations. It has more than 500 projects in its portfolio. In 2020 the company reported €947.6 million ($1.1 billion) in revenue and a net result of €31.1 million ($36.7 million).

Ballast Nedam is no stranger to the Caribbean, or to St. Maarten for that matter. It executed the roof repair at the airport terminal after Hurricane Irma. The contractor also built the original terminal building back in 2006.

More recently, Ballast Nedam built the new Curacao Medical Center in Willemstad. On its website, the company emphasizes its commitment to working with locals: “Working abroad is synonymous with working together. We bundle our knowledge with that of Rönesans Holding and combine it with the workforce of the residents of Curaçao. Approximately 80% of the person-hours spent on the project were carried out by local staff—this way of working challenged us because of the differences in language and culture. Ballast Nedam invested a lot of time arranging agreements, explaining and sharing knowledge and experience with those involved. This was beneficial for us but also for Curaçao in future projects.”

In that sense, it does not seem to make much of a difference whether the main contractor is Dutch or of another nationality that is more pleasing to politicians like Christophe Emmanuel. The important issue is that Ballast Nedam has the experience and the financial power to handle the airport reconstruction project and that is willing to involve local staff in the execution of its tasks.

On its website, Ballast Nedam confirms that it will involve locals in the construction activities. “This local participation will provide the island with additional employment opportunities.”

The company also refers to the work it did on the terminal in 2018-2019, installing a hurricane-resistant new roof.  “We made sure that the roof can withstand wind speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour.”

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