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WTEC Sole leads modernization process

Article - August 27, 2012
Ready to work with foreign multinationals, WTEC Solé is looking beyond earthmoving, mining and timber to develop communities

Over the past three decades, WTEC Solé has become a highly respected name for earthmoving and transportation services. Better known locally as Solé, the company started out in 1980 as a small contractor in the eastern part of Suriname under the name S. Kartodikromo in the district of Marowijne. However, it has since developed into a trusted partner for public works, having successfully completed numerous civil engineering projects with the government, as well as timber industry operations and mining sector support services. Its future plans include local rejuevenation initiatives and U.S. partnerships to extract greater returns from the timber industry.

In 2004, the company landed a contract with BHP Billiton (Suralco) for the rental of large equipment and heavy machinery for mining activities. Nowadays, WTEC Solé participates in many different projects, such as revetments, access roads in the Moengo and Albina areas, reconditioning infrastructure, building community centers, renovating and building bridges, preparing areas for ore mining, line cutting, sampling and spotting.

Business manager and daughter of the owner, Tesora Kartodikromo, says: “We are focused in the east of the country, where Suralco started in 1916. With the East-West Highway that is hopefully coming in 2014, I think there are many opportunities for French Guiana and Suriname to create an entirely mobile population again. Moengo, where we are based, is currently a very quiet town, with no-one there. However, we could attract people back there from the cities with the right amenities and services. But it will take a couple years before that can happen, because Moengo does not even have a bar right now.”

Ms. Kartodikromo explains that the forestry business, which is a main target for the company, is one of Florida’s most valuable assets, contributing more than US$16 billion to the local economy on a yearly basis, and how there are major opportunities for foreign companies to get involved in Suriname’s timber sector.

“In Suriname we only produce a 40% yield on wood, so my vision is to seek American knowledge and technology in order to convert the waste produced by the timber industry into something productive,” she says.

My vision is to seek American knowledge and technology in order to convert the waste produced by the timber industry into something productive.

Tesora Kartodikromo
Business Manager of WTEC Solé

“I know some people who are already doing things like that, but it costs a lot of money. If you can do something with that waste, you can manage it better and generate more energy. But that is something we need to look into more, because there are so many possibilities. I think we will have something in place in that respect in a couple of years from now.”

Florida has huge significance for the future opportunities of Suriname’s development and can also offer Moengo a great deal of know-how to develop different elements of the local economy. WTEC Solé therefore aims to strengthen its relationship with the southern U.S. state on an ongoing basis.

“Florida has the knowledge, skills, and finance we need, and this is one of the most important areas where we have to strengthen ties with Miami,”  explains Ms. Kartodikromo. “We already go to Miami on vacation and deal with suppliers there.
So the business links are already in place, but they need to be strengthened.”

WTEC Solé’s in-depth mining experience is there to be tapped. “If we collaborated with an American company, they would profit from our local knowledge, of where all the minerals are, and our local workforce who are capable of doing the job,” Ms. Kartodikromo. “We have so much experience in mining from Suralco’s bauxite mine, the forestry industry, and the environment. There are many opportunities to collaborate. WTEC Solé also has the trust of the people here in Moengo, and we are the only leading local company there. That is what makes us so reliable.”

Ms. Kartodikromo believes Surinamese companies need to make more noise in promoting their businesses and strengths internationally, “because most companies here just stay local,” she says. “They are not expanding due to a lack of knowledge. We have the vision, but we do not have to tools to execute that vision. Florida can provide us with those tools and technologies.”

WTEC Solé is also involved with the Ministry of Regional Development, which aims to make a difference to the various communities of Suriname. The two partners have been working together in various projects such as the road construction to connect Moengo to Ricanaumofo in the Marowijne district, the construction of a community center in Ricanaumofo, the clearing of the verges for the Wanhati road, and the reconditioning of all roads in the Moengo area.

The environment, its protection and sustainability, is high on WTCE Solé’s agenda and the company was recently awarded ISO 9001 quality certification. It also boasts the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001, in addition to the ISO 14001 for the environment. The company’s recognized quality assurance is something it would like to highlight to people in Florida.

“Everything today is about global warming,” says Ms. Kartodikromo. “We have to focus on the environment, and the environmentally friendly aspects of Suriname. I know that we have a lot of potential in mining and forestry, and for some people like Greenpeace that is not necessarily a good thing to promote. But mining and forestry can be done in a manner that is environmentally friendly, responsible, and sustainable. My vision is to promote the environment.”


Derek Schneider
13/09/2012  |  3:26
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Wow she's beautiful and an amazing business woman!!