Drilling equipment on the site

Drilling equipment in the Roseau Valley

Drilling in the Roseau Valley for the island’s geothermal project has officially come to an end and the project is now entering a new stage.

The drill-rig used on the project is now being transported back to Iceland, from where it was originally contracted.

DNO has learnt that the drilling company has gotten contracts for drilling new geothermal wells in Iceland.

Energy Minister, Ian Douglas, told DNO that authorities have found that the wells can in fact generate geothermal energy and the project is moving to the next step.

“So the next step is to go on to purchase and source the turbines, which in local parlance (are) the generators, that would turn the hot steam coming from the wells which we have dug into electric power and energy for use by the population,” he stated. “So all things are in place.”

He noted that in terms of the project, the government has been in consultation with DOMLEC and Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC) at every stage.

“We are just in the process of concluding on all of those issues,” he remarked. “Of course you know we have foreign partners, the foreign French consortium that are joining the government of Dominica in the continued development of the geothermal energy and we are in fact making good progress on the program so far.”

Meanwhile Douglas informed that a Dominican company has to be formed to oversee the development of a geothermal plant. He said it has to be a joint venture between the government and the French consortium.

“When that company forms, that is the company that will start the development of the small development plant,” he stated.

Douglas said the first small plant which will supply Dominica with electricity, is expected to be commissioned by 2017.

The government has spent over $50-million in exploring the island’s geothermal potential.

In 2012 then Energy Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, had said construction of a geothermal plant would begin in the first quarter of 2013.

Also in 2012, Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, told parliament that Dominica could have a geothermal power plant in operation by 2014.