Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Roosevelt Skerrit has stated that an investment of $45-million will be made available for the development of a geothermal plant.
The funds will come from the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CBI).
Skerrit spoke at a Private Sector Forum at the Fort Young Hotel on Friday February 10th, saying that he is convinced that the significant cost reduction in energy consumption, to be brought by the plant, is indeed something to look forward to.
“This will be a positive impact on your businesses, and this should also stimulate investment by others in establishing new businesses,” he said.
He also noted that the geothermal project funding will be sourced from the CBI, a significant contributor, considering the aftershock of T.S. Erika and quick responses had been made to various situations.
“We have been able to respond speedily to many of the challenges brought by Erika,” he stated.
Therefore, according to Skerrit, the value of the CBI program is one “we should never underestimate.”
“We should never underestimate the value of the CBI program to this country at this time,” he remarked.
The government has 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.
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.
In December 2016, Dr. Vince Henderson, who is now Dominica’s Ambassador to the US, said the United Kingdom had committed $7-million grant funding to the project. He said this amount has been promise, however it’s up to the UK Government to commit to contributing that amount.
In June 2016, during a visit to Dominica, UK’s Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of International Development, Baroness Sandip Verma, urged the government to “get on” with the much talked-about project, saying it should not be “left to be on the back burner for a long time.”
In April 2016, Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit emphasized the government’s commitment to the harnessing and development of geothermal energy in Dominica.
In March 2015, Energy Minister Ian Douglas said that a draft Geothermal Bill, which will govern the exploration, development and exploitation of power that will be generated from the country’s geothermal resources, is nearing completion.
Douglas said a construction of a small geothermal plant is to begin by 2017.
In 2012 former Energy Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, 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.