BVC March, 2016 - page 45

Business View Caribbean - March 2016 45
plants at the government-owned, Point Lisas Industrial
Estate, home to a majority of Trinidad and Tobago’s
heavy industry.
John Thompson is DesalcoTT’s Managing Director.
He recounts the company’s beginnings in 1998: “The
company was set up by a local entrepreneur in Trini-
dad whose name was Hafeez Karamath. He was the
owner of a group of companies that did construction,
steel work, and related activities, and already had built
notable projects, such as the Hall of Justice, the Hilton
Hotel in Tobago, and a shopping mall called the Grand
Bazaar. He’d also done some work on water treatment
plants and the steel work for Atlantic LNG. He saw that
Trinidad was moving in the direction of building a de-
salination plant at Point Lisas to provide security of
water supply to the industries there. And so he formed
the Desalination Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He
sought a joint venture partner who was experienced
in desalination technology – Ionics, Inc. out of Boston
Originally, DesalcoTT was a joint partnership, with
Hafeez Karamath Engineering Services Limited
(HKESL) owning 60 percent of the facility and Ionics
owning the remaining 40 percent. In 2005, the Gen-
eral Electric Company acquired Ionics, and in 2012,
HKESL purchased G.E.’s entire shareholding, making
DesalcoTT 100 percent locally owned and operated.
Thompson, himself, has been with DesalcoTT since
2000, having come on board as Project Director to run
the engineering procurement and construction of the
plant on behalf of Ionics. He was confirmed as General
Manager in 2002, when the plant first went into opera-
tion, and he continues in that position, today.
Unlike some places on the globe that need to rely on
desalination because of a lack of suitable fresh water
supplies, Trinidad actually has a lot of it, and the is-
The Desalination Company of Trinidad &
Tobago, Limited
Providing desalinated water for the coun-
try’s industrial sector
Point Lisas, Trinidad, W.I.
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