Minister for Energy Rayburn Blackmoore has praised the Global Bilateral Division of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs for assisting Dominica in exploring its geothermal potential.
At present a number of officials from across the OECS are attending a two-day geothermal conference dubbed “Driving Geothermal Development: How to Realize Geothermal Potential” at the Fort Young Hotel.
Speaking at the forum on Thursday morning Blackmoore said “they have been involved in the geothermal process for the past sixty years. That in itself is a clear indication that over the years they have developed a level of competence and expertise and can assist persons who are less equipped with the technical and financial competencies.”
The government of Dominica has already invested over $50-million on the island’s geothermal project and Blackmoore said and it is not departing from the exploration stage.
“We have been able to navigate through the element that carries the most risk and we have departed from the exploration process and we are now in the process of developing the resource,” he noted. “It is important to note that on March 1st, 2014 we completed a production well without any incident or accident and I think that is commendable”
Blackmoore added that three test wells have been drilled, with no incidents, since all procedures have been followed in accordance with best international practices.
In the meantime Project Officer of the Geothermal Project Management Unit, Alexis George, added that a geothermal energy bill has been drafted and should be passed by parliament by the end of the year.
“It will basically guide the development of the resource and protect the rights of the consumers and also the physical and social environment,” he pointed out. “That bill has already gone through the first reading. It is currently being revised and we hope that it will be passed sometime later this year.”
George added that transmission lines must be upgraded since the existing ones will not be able to support electricity from the geothermal project.
The workshop ends today (Friday).