Dominica launches geothermal exploration

Work being done at the site for geothermal exploration

Dominica has launched geothermal exploration, a major step to moving away from use of fossil fuel for energy generation, government said.

It has contracted an Icelandic company to assist the island in drilling three test wells in the Roseau Valley.

Dominica has long been speaking about its potential in geothermal energy and the need to greater exploit renewable resources for lower energy costs and revenue generation for the economy.

“We shall be drilling three test wells in the Valley catchment area. If we are to achieve the objectives that we are looking at, first of all to build a small plant to supply our local demand and secondly, to achieve our long-term objective of building a 120 mega watt power plant to supply the French departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique, we must first of all have a clear sense as to the size and quality of that resource,” said Minister for Energy Rayburn Blackmoore Monday at the ceremony to launch geothermal exploration.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit stressed that the geothermal project must be “shared” with Martinique and Guadeloupe, as the Regional Council of Guadeloupe has been at the forefront of it.

“At a time, it was as if the geothermal potential resided in Guadeloupe rather than Dominica because of the passion showed to this very important project,” Skerrit said.

He stated also that the collaboration would auger well for an integration process among the three countries.

Government signed a contract worth $17-million earlier this year with an Icelandic company for exploration of geothermal energy sources here.

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34 Comments

  1. December 7, 2011

    ice land is the only country who has harnessed geothermal energy, all the other countries are pretenders.as for sharing dominicas resource, skeritt can go fly a kit.
    u think venezuela is sharing its oil is saudi arabia sharing its oil?

  2. listen
    December 7, 2011

    Mark my word!
    French will be getting a lower price electricity that local investors/ businesses.
    We are stuck in a cycle of exporting our raw materials at a low price and turn around to import the processed materials at inflated prices.
    For example we export our quarry material at lower that locals can purchase it here then import tiles, solar panels (silica) computer parts….and a host of end products…in Short. We subsidize others and tax the life out of our manufactures.
    Dominica once had over 250 factories producing value added products…
    Today we are so ethnically paralyzed that we elect governments who have so little confidence in our abilities that the prime minister imports contractors to build his Home. Yet we say Hooorayyy we want More of that allegiance.

    • patriotic
      April 15, 2013

      If I were close to you I would kiss your foot. Well said

  3. want to know
    December 6, 2011

    BOY BOY BOY I REALLY DONT KNOW WAT DOMINICAN WANT.The government is trying their best to bring long time investment to the country even when they will not be there the benefit that may come as a result of this project will forever be there,but there are many who will do or say anything to destroy everything even before it gets off the ground.Because they hate SKERRIT every thing skeritt does is bad for them.But one thing i know we will not always be there so for those that will be there tomorrow I put all my support behind this project.Thumbs up for Skerro and the DOMINICA LABOUR PARTY may God continue to bless you all.

  4. dem
    December 6, 2011

    u kidding we have 2 share our resourses with the french ppl and they dont care about us.we cant even visit their country with all the demand that they a asking b4 we sit on the ferry and airline just 2 go over .thats pure crap.what is wrong with our pm and this sharing thing .is he 4 real????

  5. progress
    December 6, 2011

    i hope i can get a job in that field..too long i have been struggling..cant get a job to pay my bills

  6. gulfstream
    December 6, 2011

    I hope that histtory aint repeats itself. Patrick John and the Don Pierson saga… it cost him him job. Now our geothermal resources have to be “shared” with Martinique & Guadeloupe. Are we serious in this country. The natural resources of the land belongs to its people…ok PM.

    My good God, who is advising the PM on making these policy statements. Is Dominica a dependent of Martinique & Guadeloupe that we got to share our maritime boundaries, our sand & stones, now our geothermal resources.

    PM my recommendation to you is that you change these advisors because they are taking you down Morne Diablotin head first.

  7. Possitive
    December 6, 2011

    My thoughts should not be misconstrued as negativism because it is not. What I dislike is the deception on the part of the authorities. This is an exploration and may I note that similar explorations had been done in Soufriere area of St Lucia, years ago. The findings indicate that the long term cost to benefit ratio evaluation was frightening.

    It is not reasonable to believe that the French would be more inclined to invest in a project in Dominica that would sell power to the French territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique when both French territories have the same capabilities. The cost to provide power to these French countries is astronomical and it just does not make sense to me. I guarantee that it would be much cheaper to build a plant in Guadeloupe and Martinique than to install submarine infrastructure to supply power to these countries. In addition the French may very well have to pay much more for energy.

    A geothermal plant in Dominica could have long term benefits to the people of Dominica but the hoopla about selling power to those French territories is merely overkill. I am sure that the French would perform a thorough feasibility evaluation before making such promises. It is better to lay the cards on the table rather than to have the people get excited about grapes with diamond seeds.

    I do encourage the exploration as there is a strong possibility that the technology available could significantly take the C/B ratio to an acceptable value.

    • Asterix
      December 6, 2011

      I have made myself knowledgeable to some extent on some aspects re the subject of geothermal energy because of my work with an electric utility for the past 20 years. The initial cost of a geothermal plant is a very and I say very costly venture. Establishing a plant for Dominicas needs only with the current state of our economy is not economically feasible let alone undertake a much larger scale venture to supply the french territories.The question is, will Dominicans be able to pay the recovery cost on this high cost investment in the initial years. A reduction in utility bills is not something which will be automatic but will take years to materialize. Further working out the intricate deatails with our neighbours is something which would take not just lip service but would require extensive research and longterm planning. This as far as I know has not even started on any meaningful front so making mention of supply their energy needs is just wishful thinking and political posturing. This venture would have to be feasible for all parties involved and knowing the french i stress REAL FEASIBLE. Our system of governance and the way we conduct business is something vastly different than how our neighbors do it. Let us not forget that such a project has not been significantly undertaken in large number anywhere let alone our region. We are talking here not just about a physical plant on the surface but extraction of the energy from below the earths surface, maintaining a reliable supply stream of that energy, managing that energy safely,transforming that energy, the oceanic transmition of that energy via submarine lines, maintaining the distribution supply integrity and quality over the distance. Further the human resource to undertake and man this venture during and after installation is another critical matter. These in layman terms,are just some of the things need at our end only. Interconnection and what happens on the other end is another book. So I will reiterate it is easier said than done especially in light of our economic situation. All of this talk like I said is all about jockeying the political agenda.

      • Possitive
        December 6, 2011

        Asterix I share the same point of view that is why I am not prepared to get excited. I just don’t think that these people bent on fooling the Dominican masses really understand this geothermal undertaking. The whole idea of supplying the French countries has always been a joke to me. As I said it all hoopla to get people excited. The government has not done a feasibility evaluation or C/B evaluation so much so as to convince us that our energy bills will be much cheaper. Until proven otherwise I just don’t think that the size of our economy and population can support this venture. I also agree with you on the fact that we are not capable of handling the logistics for Maintenance and operation of a self sufficient system – much less to be handle a system submarine supply system. Some people may see our point of view as pessimism however it is better to be pragmatic and realistic than to take comfort in promises that EOA – empty on arrival.

      • Joe
        December 7, 2011

        Very valid points both of you. It’s the reason they keep repeating themselves without telling us how it’s going to lower our bills. Knowing Domlec which is going to be a major player when all said n done, lower bills is a cuss phrase to them and their shareholders who pay back all their dividends to the company due to their high rates.

        Cheap electrricity rates is single-handedly the the key to attracting baddly needed foreign investment.

  8. Bereal
    December 6, 2011

    “This resource does not belong to us, we have to share it” what nonsence!!! Investing in our resources does not relinquish our ownership.

  9. patriot
    December 6, 2011

    I WONDER WHAT THE Q-MOB IS PLANNING TO SAY ON THIS ? AM GOING TO HAVE THE FIRST TRY YOU NEXT.

    BREAKING NEWS, THE MOVEMENT OF HEAVY EQUIPMENT FOR THE TEST DRILLING IS CAUSING THE MOUNTAIN TO SINK UNDER THE WEIGHT.ENVIRONMENTALIST ATHIE MARTIN SPEAKS OUT ,THIS COULD BE AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER. Q-FM HAS DISPATCHED A TEAM OF REPORTERS TO THE ROSEAU VALLEY……..

  10. Not Memoire Poule
    December 6, 2011

    would that surprise you that the Geothermal exploration bill was passed in 1975 by a LABOUR PARTY GOVERNMENT .. GUESS WHO WAS PM AND OR MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONA AND WORKS WHO PASSED THE BILL ?
    I suppose even SKERRITT is unaware of this so little respect he has for those true founders of that party who led the ground work for his ascendency
    WELL HERE WE ARE 4 DECADES LATER
    QUON VADIS DOMINCA

  11. wow
    December 6, 2011

    Wow!!! see how we wallow in negativism. We get a “kick” from painting Dominica in a negative light. We get a fillip in life by cursing everything that is good about Dominica. There is always a negative suspicion about government activities. Should it be that way always and forever. Should we be hailing this lates development in our thrust towards geothermal as a positive outcoem of the years of talk. Our judgements and manner of thinking or criticing Dominica’s development is always measured in bad light. We get a lot of fun in seeking to make that which is good – bad. All that is happening simply becasue a particular person is PM. Oh Dominica, what hath become of us

  12. James Barton
    December 6, 2011

    Electricity from a hole in the ground, doesn’tget much better than that, hopefully. With the geothermal project starting, yes it will take some time to get it all up and running, but this can result in enormous benefits to the Dominican people. If the electricity generated will result in much lower cost, monthly bills, then there is a multiplier factor to the whole economy. Any lower price savings that don’t have to go to the present electric company can be used for other necessities, allowing more circulation of the money supply. and maybe some extra coin in your pocket. However, if the present rate schedule is continued, then no one benefits, miight as well fill in the hole after it is dug.
    This is a fantastic program tht will continue to project Dominica’s Ecology image, and decrease your ‘Carbon Footprint’. If the price is right, then also maybe some appliances that use imported propane cylindeers can be replaced with electric versions. And what about saving some trees and reduce the use of coal for cooking. Also, in the near future then more hybred vehicles with lower import duties can be used, as recharging them will be cost effective. Could drive around the whole island on just one charge. Wouldn’t have to import all that gasoline, and pay those high prices at the pump, sound good? Maybe ten years down the road Dominica could be one of the ‘greenest’ places in the world, how’s that for validation, just from a hole in the ground!

    • drake
      December 6, 2011

      Dream on my friend!!! Hope you don’t get a rude awakening or maybe a prejaculation.

      Before you go to bed you hould request a copy ( If any ) of the feasibility survey. How are we going to benifit.

      That 17 million should beinvested in Wind Turbines. We are just pissing 17 million dollars away just like the money now being spent on the state malice.

  13. Esther
    December 6, 2011

    Before the interception of Petro Caribee, Dominicans were promised that they would be paying less for electricity consumsion, are they paying less? I wonder what is going to happen after geothermal exploration would have been completed, would the consumers have to wait 30 years for them to recover their costs for drilling operations,then share out the supplus? Nonetheless, I am for the geothermal enegy.

    • Observer
      December 6, 2011

      I wish that geothermal energy lowers the cost of electricity, but I have to see to believe. Currently, Dominica is one of the coutnries in the Caribbean, and maybe even the world with the highest percentage of its electricity being produced by renewable sourch (yes people – hydro-electricity) Yet check our electricity rate compared with other Caribbean countries. I wish the project brings relief to the people of Dominica who has been burden by exhorbitant cost of electricity, but seeing is believing. Dominica is crippled in the area of cost of production/manufacturing due to high electricity rates.

      • Reality Check
        December 6, 2011

        If the government is smart they would not lower the price of electricity significantly but use the surplus to pay for the project and other projects that will raise standards in D’a.

        That is the surest way as it is a known fact that Dominicans do not like to pay tax.

  14. listen properly
    December 6, 2011

    I am indeed surprised at how the press skips the KEY WORDS/Statements:
    “This resource does not belong to Dominica”
    “It must be Shared”
    Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit stressed that the geothermal project must be “shared” with Martinique and Guadeloupe, as the Regional Council of Guadeloupe has been at the forefront of it.

    “At a time, it was as if the geothermal potential resided in Guadeloupe rather than Dominica because of the passion showed to this very important project,” Skerrit said.

    You will recall:
    “It is with DEEPEST REGRET that I…” Renunciation of French citizenship.
    “Thanking you for your USUAL Kind COOPERATION”

    Quarry resources:
    “We must share…help out our neighbors”

    Fishermen released after being arrested.

    Dominica may cede to Venezuela’s claim on bird island AND lose most of its Territorial waters.

    • glue
      December 6, 2011

      Guadeloupe people don’t like us…They treat us like crap

    • The truth
      December 6, 2011

      Why don’t you fund it and own it then? And they don’t like us? If I was hem I would not like us. Look what boys go into the people’s country and do. Then Gallic about they don’t like us. No Guadeloupe person hates me. I brave in their country and so it should be. The resource must e shared because Dominica cannot und it nor maintain it. When you Dominicans bashing the project become billionaires, buy the plant and do ad you wish with it. Till then, be grateful that other countries show interest in dca.

      • The truth
        December 6, 2011

        Loads of spellin errors but I hope you all get it. Phone helptext. Not my fault

  15. Jbfox
    December 6, 2011

    Way to go DA,big up.

  16. De marine
    December 6, 2011

    explain why there HAS to be two ministers sons working in prominent positions in this project??nepotism,lack of tranparency,corruption,job for the boys,some shall eat all!!!!!!!!

    • ??
      December 6, 2011

      Good point but can you think of a qualified replacement? If I’m not mistaken, they are trained in that field. Are you suggesting that we bring in a foreigner?

      • The truth
        December 6, 2011

        Exactly. They just jump in but they have no solution to the problem. So what is the son works on the prOject? It is a job. How is corruption going to be in the construction of a plant? Maybe in the funding? Maybe the provisions of electricity, but what does the construction have to do with corruption?

  17. lookintoit
    December 6, 2011

    The only thing i want out of this project at this point is for it to be populated with many dominican workers because right now people need jobs. The Chinese funded road projects, and state house construction at the end of the day will only please our eyes and not our pockets…..so many dominicans looking for work!! The Chinese are known for funding projects, with their own workers as part of the package.

    • jkfds
      December 6, 2011

      trust me if this project gets under way and is put in place jobs will be created because the more complex an energy resource the more people are needed to maintain it. what needs to happen now is for some forward thinking dominicans to start studying advanced careers in energy production, geography, and other related fields so they can be assured first position when these jobs become avaialable. You would think that in a country that is so intimate with volcanic activity more people would be studying in these fields.

  18. I-know
    December 6, 2011

    I thought the company in Soufriere was granted their contract before that Iceland company that is working in the Valley. What is going on down south?

  19. Me again
    December 6, 2011

    Why is this story saying “We shall be drilling ….” the same as stories from the past 2 yrs? I am all for it but enough talk already, why not just do it! :?:

    • .
      December 6, 2011

      SHUT UP!!!

    • kakarat
      December 6, 2011

      after all the talk, sir, the action has already started.

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