Minister for Energy Ian Douglas is giving the public the assurance that the government has all the funding required for the construction of the long-awaited Geothermal Energy Plant in the Roseau Valley.
The Dominica Geothermal Development Company Limited in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Energy and Employment conducted testing of the well in that area recently.
Dougls said the concept design for the geothermal plant has been completed including the revised route for the re-injection pipeline from Laudat to Wotten Waven and Trafalgar.
“Negotiations between the World Bank and the government on funding to build the power plant has been finalized, so in fact we have all of the money we need to start building the Geothermal Development Plant,” according to Douglas.
Lands he said have also been identified for the project and the ministry of lands is now working on acquiring that land from the owners.
“Those land owners have been written to advising them of the pending acquisition process for the government to acquire the lands needed to place the geothermal plant,” Douglas stated.
The government has reportedly spent over $50-million exploring the island’s geothermal potential but there have been complaints in some quarters that the project has been placed on the back burner.
The quest by the current administration to tap Dominica’s geothermal energy potential started as far back as 2011 when the government signed a contract for the exploratory drilling of geothermal wells in the Roseau Valley.
Drilling for the island’s geothermal project officially ended in 2015 and the project entered a new stage.
In his budget address that same year, Prime Minister Skerrit said that negotiations were underway for a joint venture with a French investment consortium, to build and operate the domestic plant with the aim of exporting electricity to Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The government subsequently announced in 2016, that it had taken a decision to run the geothermal project as a company solely owned by the government and people of Dominica and would go ahead alone, in constructing a small geothermal plant in Dominica. Then, it committed to investing US$15M into the geothermal company with funds from the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI).
In September 2016, Dominica and New Zealand signed an EC$4-million Partnership Agreement to support the construction of a 7 MW geothermal power plant on the island.
It is the governments hope to make Dominica the world’s first climate resilient country with a cheaper, cleaner, more reliable source of energy.
Photo credit: Nixon George, Quick Link Productions via DGDC