Our History

Here you can see our historical timeline from the beginning up to the present. Throughout the years N.V. ELMAR has worked to improve its services on the island and they are all highlighted here.

1923 - 1949

Aruba's first experience with lights and electricity started with the establishment of the Aruba Gold Company at Balashi. In 1924 a Dutch investor named Mr. A.J.P. van Meeteren acquired a concession to establish Aruba's first power company. The power plant consisted of one engine which generated enough electricity for at least 50 light posts, 25 Watt each. In 1931 the company was sold to John G. Eman and together with his wife Mrs. F. Eman-van der Biest, they drove the company to success.

Eman named the company ELECTRA N.V. and managed to increase the plant's capacity while expanding the company's distribution area. The island's demand grew consistently during the years and the distribution grid expanded considerably. 


1950 - 1964

In November 1950, the island Government took ELECTRA N.V. over in order to best serve the island’s general interest. On November 11th, 1950, the ELECTRA concession was granted to the Dutch company OGEM N.V. (Overseas Gas and Electricity Company). Considering the plans and changes, ELECTRA changed its name to Naamloze Vennootschap ELectrische Maatschappij Aruba (N.V. ELMAR). On the 15th of November 1950, the production and distribution were officially transferred. N.V. Elmar had a capacity of 3000kW, which gradually increased throughout the years.

In 1958 the Island Government bought a new power station with bigger capacity (15000kW) which was intended for the yet to be established Water and Power Company, WEB Aruba N.V. This company would provide Aruba with drinking water. The Government together with N.V. Elmar agreed that N.V. Elmar will buy the majority of the generated Power in order to provide distribution to the island.

In 1964, a new agreement was made between the Island Government, N.V. Elmar and WEB Aruba N.V. WEB Aruba N.V. will supply N.V. Elmar with all the electricity it needs to power up Aruba. Consequently, N.V. Elmar is since then completely entitled and responsible for building and maintaining the distribution grid.


1964 - 1980

Throughout the years N.V. Elmar has known several positive changes. In 1968, the Spaans Lagoen building, which was the main office of N.V. Elmar since the beginning was dismantled and the company moved its headquarters to Oranjestad. The power demand on the Island increased considerably. N.V. Elmar that just started with only 51 transformers, quickly grew to about 800 transformers. With a distribution grid of just 64km, this has now extended to more than 400km. 


1981 – 1990

In the early 80’s N.V. Elmar faced challenging times. A trustee of bankruptcy managed N.V. Elmar due to OGEM’s financial crisis. In 1990, OGEM’s consortium was officially dissolved. Its shares were sold to a government-owned holding company, the Utilities Aruba N.V. Since then N.V. Elmar has become a stable company with a solid financial record.  


1991 – 2000

Since N.V. Elmar has become part of the Uitilities Aruba N.V., N.V. Elmar has experienced incredible advances in investment made in the company to develop efficiency in distribution and management. During these years, this was the first step into bringing about a change; internally as well as externally. Technology was one of the most important change and challenge that N.V. Elmar had to adapt itself to. 


2001 - Present

As part of N.V. Elmar’s innovative vision, N.V. Elmar is continually in the process of developing new technologies. In 2012 N.V. Elmar started replacing conventional streetlights to smart led street lighting. One of the many reasons for this approach is the incredible efficiency and long lifespan of these types of lights. N.V. Elmar is also progressively developing its electrical grid to suit a more intelligent network.  This is commonly known as ‘smart grid’.  The main objective for using this smart grid is both for technology advancement reasons as well as for the development of new business strategies. A smart grid will contribute toward the transition of a standard way of doing business to a more service market mentality. This process is a balanced approach of exploring new markets and emerging technologies while still focusing on the overall strategic objectives. N.V. Elmar is also exploring to modify its electrical grid, by adding a charging station infrastructure suitable for the introduction of electrical vehicles.   

History of N.V. Elmar

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