The French Foreign Affairs ministry is said to be seeking an operator for a 130 megawatts geothermal plant in Dominica which will provide electricity to Guadeloupe and Martinique.
French newspaper, France Antilles, has quoted France’s Overseas Minister, Victorin Laurel, as describing the project as a “pain” since it was abandoned by Electricite de France’s (EdF) which has deemed it unprofitable.
“It’s a pain! We seek an operator,” Lurel told reporters on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica last week where discussions on energy transition were being held.
He pointed out that Martinique and Guadeloupe have been heavily involved in the project over the past five to eight years. “We have put in money, energy and friendship with this country which we consider a brother, Dominica,” he noted.
“This is a good project which cost only 600 million euros,” Lurel stated adding that it is supported by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the CDC (Caisse des Depots et Consignations), and gave the assurance that France will not abandon it.
“Everything must be done for this project,” he stated.
France Antilles also reported that Lurel recently met with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt to “reaffirm his commitment” and obtained additional time to source a French operator which can be contracted for the project.
In June Skerrit led a delegation to France to hold discussion with the AFD.
Upon his return he said the AFD has made it clear that it is prepared to finance the construction of the 15 megawatts plant in Dominica to provide electricity for local consumption and said the French government is still interested in financing a larger plant and in buying electricity from Dominica.
Earlier this year the EdF said it was pulling out of the project, a move which startled partners who were concerned about the implications of such a move.