Dominica’s geothermal project ‘a pain’ – France Overseas Minister

Victorin Lurel has said Dominica's geothermal project is a  'pain'
Victorin Lurel has said Dominica’s geothermal project is a ‘pain’

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.

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69 Comments

  1. jah know star
    July 16, 2013

    A small volcanic island of ours them man want to be doing that. Hmm our future not bright na. Father jah guide over us.

  2. Country Man
    July 16, 2013

    These politicians are full of it. He is an embarrassment. How can you justify spending 600 million euro on a 130MW geothermal power plant. This is 4.6 plus million euro per MW. I would like to know the crazy financiers/investors/banks that are willing to make such an investment.
    What is the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from this project? This would certainly not lower the cost of energy.

    • Anonymous
      August 9, 2013

      4.6 million euro per MW, or 4.6 thousand euro per KiloWatt. At 10 Cents per KWh they would break even in 5 years…

  3. Grandbay
    July 16, 2013

    But didn’t Skerrit and his partners just come back from Paris to address that Geothermal issue? They came back telling us that all went well.
    Now we know that next half of the story.
    Dominicans wake up and see these lowly politicians for who they are.
    More than [email protected] thus US was spent from Da tax payers money for them to go to Paris to drink wine n dine, now we are seeing that nothing was achieved or gained.
    Time to vote for change.

  4. RubbishNews.da
    July 16, 2013

    The people who do nothing productive, fail at many of there personal endeavors are the ones with the most opinions and think the know it all. But why is it the opposition struggles for great leaders? Why do you hide behind our computer criticing every act of Govt?

    Why dont you step out there and do something?

  5. Not a herd follower
    July 16, 2013

    The headline is indeed misleading. An accurate version of the headline could be: French Minister says geothermal project is good but admits finding a financer is ”a pain”

  6. Anon
    July 16, 2013

    Dominica has great, less costly, energy resources…wind and solar. By the time all is said and done Dominica may not have lower energy costs. It’s already all about profit and with this established priority I wonder what impact this will have on the enviromental concerns for this project. The investors will always want to increase profits at the risk of the communities they operate in. Just a thought…

    • IPO
      July 16, 2013

      It rains too much in DA for solar

    • orchid
      July 17, 2013

      Thoughtless thought.

    • mee1
      July 17, 2013

      I think that Dominicans should go read about the dangers of geothermal before they say how much of a good thing it is. If anythings goes wrong with that things especially where they’re doig it, “colse to the balancing tank” that will most likely having people running from Dominica. I just don’t think the government should go along with that. Foreget about the money it will bring, money is not all. I AM SCARED, VERY SCARED.

  7. Anonymous
    July 16, 2013

    This project will finish Dominica if not done in a perfect way. Are we capable?

    Advantages:

    Sustainable: virtually unlimited (Earth’s thermal balance unchanged).

    Availability: will continue to increase.

    Cleaner: energy source than fossil fuels.

    Base-load: energy source.

    Safer: to develop and use, than fossil fuels.

    Conserves: fossil fuels, still required in some applications,

    Contributes to diversity: of energy sources.

    Independent: of weather

    Disadvantages:

    Not universally available.

    Emissions:

    0 – 88 lbs of CO² per megawatt-hour (comparatively negligible);
    trace amounts of mercury, boron, arsenic, antimony, etc.

    Localized Depletion:In 3 oldest sites, use outruns energy renewal.

    Geological instability: Basel, Switzerland operation suspended (10,000 seismic events/6 days).

    Hazard: exploration entails significant risks.

    20% failure rate: with significant harm to environment.

    High Cost:

    Drilling and exploration.
    Corrosion maintenance can out-weigh benefit.

  8. July 16, 2013

    Everything that can go wrong in Dominica, has gone wrong, what a shame :cry:

    • orchid
      July 17, 2013

      Dominica like all other countries of the world is NOT a UTOPHIA. No one lives in perfect harmony with each other and the physical environment. Dream on.

  9. Patience
    July 16, 2013

    Geothermal should, must and will be BANNED in the Nature Isle….when we have our way…just wait… :oops: 8)

  10. maindesk
    July 16, 2013

    I am not interested in what who said and who said what except to see the project get under way. All we ever hear and do is talk and argue and talk. At the moment that is all we hear talk of unprofitable project by those who were directly involved in it and then another talk of good project. It cannot be both. Which is which? If it is unprofitable it would be a pain to get another financier. If it is good then why would the last ones leave the project?

  11. PetProjects
    July 16, 2013

    I am originally from the Roseau valley & I support this Project 100%. What bothers me is that, when it comes to handling the affairs of the Country this Incompetent “expire” PM & his Govn’t show tht they r not up for the job…In the end I do hope it really do want it to happen, which benefits D/ca n not just our neighbors…I will be critical until I see a positive end result….Remember how much Skerrit & Austri bragg about low electric/Gas bills when PetroCarib was coming??, I rest my case.

  12. mee1
    July 16, 2013

    I wonnder why they did not do that project in Gaudeloupe or Martinique, they both have vocanoes and geothermal potencial like we do. I afraid that project might turn out to be the worst thing that ever happen to Dominica. I am SO AFRAID about all of that.

  13. July 16, 2013

    I have read the article over and over again.I am trying to find the questionable reporting by DNO.We must call a spade a spade and this is what DNO has done. Why use words such as profitable or pain in any context if you are interested in helping to fund a project.EDF should just come out and tell Dominicans that they are going to fund the project, but what date, the amount of the funding involved and wether it is a loan or grant. We dont need all that roro.

  14. Contra
    July 16, 2013
  15. Sapozay
    July 16, 2013

    The headline by DNO is unfortunate… and is a wrong “twist” to the news item… Those of you who know French will recognise that “Pain” in french means “bread”…We all know that in English, we sometimes refer to “money” as “bread”…It is my interpretation the French Foreign minister was referring to the Geothermal Project as a project that is a “pain”(bread)(money)..that’s why “we need an operator..”” etc…and that is why he said France will not abandon the project…

    • Malgraysa
      July 17, 2013

      Keep on dreaming! You sound more like a Suppository than a Saposay

  16. von
    July 16, 2013

    My main question is, “who is going to control the majority shares of the geothermal plant?”

    Who is going to be the owners?

  17. Valley Resident
    July 16, 2013

    This is a classic way to get Investors in a project. You tell them it is a Pain (in the butt -where the sun doesn’t shine), that it is NOT a profitable project, but it is a Good project. OMG!! LMAO!! Any investors on the plant care to join?

  18. DNO
    July 16, 2013

    “Read my lips.”

  19. Ron_Paul
    July 16, 2013

    So Fontaine was right, EDF did pull out. Electricite de France’s (EdF) which has deemed it unprofitable.

    • SNOW WHITE
      July 16, 2013

      You have completely missed the issue and you have become political

      This is a Dominica Good Project, This is a Martniique Good Project, This is a Guadeloupe Good Project and not a Thompson Faontaine or UWP Project.

      Who ever pulls out want a high Return on Revenue (ROI)…this means they want their investment to payoff in a much smaller term (yrs) and hence they view it as non-profitable.

      Its simple economics and Maths…Fontaine is so misleading its sickening

      • SNOW WHITE
        July 16, 2013

        To all those who give thumbs down are very “Republican-Like” in their view and would rather see the country fail in order to expand their warped party agenda than to see we the people succeed….isn’t politics amazing

        Again devoid of politics, party agenda, ideology, This is a Dominica Good Project, This is a Martniique Good Project, This is a Guadeloupe Good Project.

        Hope we find some good investors who can share the risk.

      • Malgraysa
        July 16, 2013

        How can you call this a Guadeloupe- or Martinique “good” project when the only viable customer has pulled out? This minister of foreign affairs has to talk his dept’s agenda but don’t forget that the electricity supplier in France, Guadeloupe and Martinique, EDF is majority owned by the same Govt. this minister claims to represent. I can only see this as political talk. Very simple, as long as EDF is not in we don’t have a customer for this electricity. So far we have put some $33 million down a ” hole of wishful thinking” and I just hope there are diamonds at
        the bottom of it.

      • Anonymous
        July 16, 2013

        oh really? Thats the new definition of not profitable? short term vs long term? Since when? since you deemed it so? and you are accusing Ron_Paul of being political?

        Not profitable is exactly that. NOT. PROFITABLE. Not sure who enters a major capital co-government investment like a geothermal plant and thinks short term but of course labourites like today’s republicans, do not fill the logical pool at all 8-O

      • w
        July 16, 2013

        u ca bring all excuses u want………still u admit that EDF view this project as UNPROFITABLE!!!!!!!!!
        Hey, this is coming from the 2nd largest electricity company in this world!!!!!!!!
        That’s like having Sandals or some major Hotel chain promising to build some infrastructure here and then pulling out.
        What really is de problem nuh? Skerrit lost his negotiating skills man? u forget that sweet MOU deal we got from China? u doh see how sweet them chinee treating us? u doh see how de poor people suddenly moving up de economic ladder? DUH!!!!!
        Get off Thompson Fontaine back and go negotiate with EDF…………….do u have de power to change their mind???????

        Was Mr Lurel part of Dominica’s delegation to France recently? But he providing more information than our entire cabinet including de advisers and de animal crew.

        Its simple economics and maths…………..Skerrit and his gang is so misleading it makes me want to puke

  20. WHO VEX VEX
    July 16, 2013

    DNO your heading made me feel deppresed while the story does otherwise

  21. SNOW WHITE
    July 16, 2013

    DNO Allowme to post this…this is to provide some clarity to your readers and to clear up the confusion. This is the France Antilles report and the transaltion to English (Google Translate)

    http://www.martinique.franceantilles.fr/actualite/environnement/geothermie-qui-a-l-appel-212679.php

    Victorin Lurel, le ministre des outre-mer, serait à la recherche d’un opérateur pour reprendre un projet de géothermie dans la Caraïbe abandonné par EDF.

    Le ministre des Outre-mer Victorin Lurel a déclaré mercredi « chercher un opérateur » pour reprendre un projet de centrale géothermique à la Dominique, abandonné par EDF et qui devait approvisionner la Martinique et la Guadeloupe.

    Ce projet d’usine de 130 mégawatts devait s’implanter à la Dominique, petite île indépendante de 80.000 habitants située entre la Guadeloupe et la Martinique pour leur distribuer 50 MW à chacune et renforcer la part des énergies renouvelables dans leur approvisionnement énergétique.

    UN DÉLAI SUPPLÉMENTAIRE

    Jugé pas assez rentable par EDF (à 8-9% comparé à un taux seuil de 13,7% voulu), l’électricien s’est retiré de ce projet sur lequel sa filiale dans les départements d’outre-mer EDF-SEI, le BRGM et les collectivités territoriales travaillaient depuis plusieurs années.

    « C’est une douleur! On cherche un opérateur » , a déclaré Victorin Lurel, répondant à des journalistes en marge de la synthèse Outre-mer et Corse des débats régionaux de la transition énergétique.

    « Deux régions, la Martinique et la Guadeloupe s’impliquent très fortement sur un dossier qui nous occupe depuis 5 à 8 ans, on y a mis de l’argent, de l’énergie et de l’amitié avec ce pays qui nous est frère, la Dominique » , a rappelé Victorin Lurel.

    « C’est un bon projet (qui coûte) à peine 600 millions d’euros » , dont la majeure partie prise en charge par l’Agence française de développement (AFD) et la CDC (Caisse des dépôts et consignations), a plaidé le ministre, qui assure que le gouvernement « n’abandonne pas ce projet » .

    « Nous avons là de quoi faire une vitrine de ce que peut être l’excellence guadeloupéenne et martiniquaise, et donc française, dans la Caraïbe, donc il faut tout faire pour réussir ce projet » , a-t-il ajouté.

    Victorin Lurel a reçu il y a quelques jours le Premier ministre dominiquais Roosevelt Skeritt pour « lui donner des engagements » et aurait obtenu un délai supplémentaire pour qu’un opérateur français puisse faire acte de candidature.

    Victorin Lurel, the Minister of Overseas is looking for an operator to use a geothermal project in the Caribbean abandoned by EDF.

    The Minister of Overseas Victorin Lurel said Wednesday “seek an operator” to use a geothermal power plant project in Dominica, abandoned by EDF which was to supply the Martinique and Guadeloupe.

    This plant 130 MW project was to set up in Dominica, a small independent island of 80,000 inhabitants located between Guadeloupe and Martinique to distribute 50 MW each and increase the share of renewables in their energy supply.

    ONE MORE TIME

    Deemed not profitable enough by EDF (to 8-9% compared with a threshold of 13.7% desired rate), the electrician has withdrawn from the project that its subsidiary departments overseas EDF-SEI , BRGM and local authorities worked for several years.

    “It’s a pain! We seek an operator, “said Victorin Lurel, responding to reporters on the sidelines of the synthesis overseas and Corsica regional discussions of the energy transition.

    “Two regions of Martinique and Guadeloupe are involved heavily on a matter before us for 5-8 years, it has been receiving money, energy and friendship with this country we brother , Dominica, “recalled Victorin Lurel.

    “This is a good project (cost) only 600 million euros,” most of which is supported by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the CDC (Caisse des Depots et Consignations), pleaded Minister, which provides that the government “will not abandon this project.”

    “We have enough here to make it a showcase of what can be excellence Guadeloupe and Martinique, French and therefore, in the Caribbean, so everything must be done to succeed in this project,” he added.

    Victorin Lurel received a few days ago the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skeritt to “give commitments” and would have gotten more time to a French operator to submit an application.

    • natiwel
      July 16, 2013

      Snow White, thanks for the clrification. I gather that finding a project operator is a pain, not the project.

      • SNOW WHITE
        July 16, 2013

        Thanks, and by Project Operator he means a financier…hence the governemt launching a donors conference, where by the risk will be spread and not have the risk exposed to one investor.

        At the end of the day every investors looks at the profitability of his investment.

        I think we as a country need to expand the base of this project to include St Lucia and Antigua as well as this would expand the economies of scale of the profit margin.

        This is a Win Win

      • Jay
        July 16, 2013

        Call it what you like, is meme bagay or meme bete meme pwel. if it was such a good prospect don’t you think potential investors would be lining up??

    • ME
      July 16, 2013

      Thanks, I was having a hard time figuring out if the article was positive or negative.

    • Hmmmmmmmmmmm
      July 16, 2013

      Dear Snow White. Thank you for your contribution. I believe that this project is very risky financially and otherwise and so the experts are moving away from it. We may end up with a white elephant with holes in the ground spouting more hot springs. But I also think that there may be a seismic shift in Dominican, French relations due to mistakes in this endeavour. God help us!!!!!!

      • Not a herd follower
        July 16, 2013

        What is the basis of saying the project is unprofitable? According to the article, the projected rate of return (profit) is 8 to 9 per cent. EDF pulled out as a financer because they wanted a rate of return of at least 13.7 per cent. Your understanding of what you read is something else!

      • Tim
        July 17, 2013

        @Not a herd follower One must ask himself what is the industry standard re: ROI for a project like this. If the industry standard is 13%+, then only a FOOL would invest in this project. Risk vs Reward. Just because 8% is considered a good return on some investments, doesn’t mean it’s a good return on ALL investments!

  22. DRAGON
    July 16, 2013

    DNO deleted my post a while back when I listed reasons why this project is not good for the Nature Isle. God is watching us!

  23. Rastafari
    July 16, 2013

    LOL :mrgreen: to the “pain”

  24. lOST IN TRANSLATION
    July 16, 2013

    DNO please provide the link to the story so we can read what was said. I think the man said that the fact that the project was abandoned is a pain but the project is a good one and everything must be done to make it work.

  25. July 16, 2013

    I would like to see this project become reality,and what deal our government gonna have with the french if become reality?

  26. WHAT
    July 16, 2013

    i read it and what stuck in my tiny brain was the word unprofitable :-| :-| :-|

  27. Anonymous
    July 16, 2013

    the only ‘pain’ stated was that they needed an operator. At the cost he says ‘only’ 600 million euros and that its a good project. i guess the heading was just to provoke attention. oy vay in DA

  28. Clea
    July 16, 2013

    Since when is Victorin Lurel the French Foreign Affairs Minister? DNO, gets your facts straight, it is as simple as a google search…

    • Anonymous
      July 16, 2013

      It seems that you are good at French and you could use your expertise to assist us all.

      Lurel, is overseas minister or in French ‘ministre de otre-mer’. For us in English “overseas” is equivalent to ‘foreign.’ So it appears there is some technicality involved here. In a case like that, I think it helps if we help one another instead of coming with your smart self about simple google search since google doesn’t differentiate between the two.

      • Peacock
        July 16, 2013

        I supesct it means Minister for Overseas Territories, similar to what Britain has with its Dependencies.

      • Clea
        July 16, 2013

        Well, the current French Foreign Affairs Minister is called Laurent Fabius. The Ministry of Overseas is a ministry in the French Government responsible for overseeing the French territories and overseas Departments. I understand it might seem as a technicality, but it is really not the same thing. This article deals with an important issue and I just think the tittle “Dominica’s geothermal project ‘a pain’ for France Foreign Affairs Minister” was giving an inaccurate idea of what is going on. The article was just corrected anyway.

      • Jay
        July 16, 2013

        Anonymous, Clea is quite right Minister for “outre mer” means that he is responsible for French overseas territories, like Martinique and Guadeloupe and not for France’s foreign policy. This explains why he is talking the way he is.

    • Rumbo
      July 16, 2013

      Learn to read ENGLISH !

    • Mc carthy MARIE
      July 16, 2013

      Correct. M. Lurin is the Minister for Overseas Departments and in French Government he is the person responsible for French Government relations with martinique Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane Francaise, Mayotte, French Polynesia, La Reunion.

      He is from Guadeloupe and up till March of 2012 mr Victorin Lurel was the president of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe

  29. N.V
    July 16, 2013

    WAY PAPA …look trouble..what does this mean????/

    • human
      July 16, 2013

      Read the story,may e then you’ll get it ! smh…

      • N.V
        July 16, 2013

        HAHAH YOU HAVE NO SHAME YOU LABOURITE

  30. Views Expressed
    July 16, 2013

    Alor me zamie, where did the French Minister said its a “pain”……” A PAIN in the……” Allo Allo Dominiche lavie smell the salt, the pain, the corruption…..smell the incompetence….
    Alas poor Dominique…….Bondie ede mwe ce vous ple…
    Aurevoir

    • Too Hard Too Long
      July 16, 2013

      Did you read the story?

  31. PJ
    July 16, 2013

    Let’s hope nothing was lost in translation! :)

  32. shame
    July 16, 2013

    DNO why didn’t you stress on the POSITIVE he the French Minister said IT IS A GOOD PROJECT.
    That should be the emphasis. The captioned headline doesn’t reflect the body of the story.

    • Judy
      July 16, 2013

      If it is a Good Project, the people of the Valley DO NOT WANT IT, then put it closer to the PM at the Cold Soufiere in the north.

      • JaJoJo
        July 16, 2013

        Why not put it in Vieille Case and see how his people like it.

  33. Dominican Overseas
    July 16, 2013

    HmmmmOMG… a pain? well it dead.

    • anonyme
      July 16, 2013

      au contraire mon/ma cher/e.
      the nuisance of the language was lost in translation. I do not think he meant it in the way you interpret it. as a matter of fact just read the rest of the article nuh.

  34. look it
    July 16, 2013

    hmmm, a pain at the end the pm said all when well, they had to beg them lol

    • More Noise
      July 16, 2013

      Explain why you would like everything to fail in this country? Do you think the UWP will save the country? Think logically and free your heart of all that hate.

  35. Really???
    July 16, 2013

    The headline is a bit misleading and clearly meant to incite excitement and interest. My impression from the full story is that the Minister is passionate about the geothermal project and is committed to assisting Dominica in this project which will ultimately benefit the French territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe. I’m sure some people will just read the headline and not the story and think differently

  36. Lougaoo Mem
    July 16, 2013

    Construction of a 15 megawatts geothermal plant in Dominica with “SAFETY FIRST” would be the best accomplishment in terms of moving the country forward. It’s a win-win for every aspect of life for the people and the economy.

    • anonymous2
      July 16, 2013

      Unfortunately, the cost is too high and the energy will not be cheap.

  37. Joeble
    July 16, 2013

    Oh my he just didn’t say where the pain was, but we can conclude it is somewhere that the sun doesn’t shine.

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