The government of Dominica has said it is nearing the completion of a draft Geothermal Bill which will go to Parliament soon.
This is according to Energy Minister, Ian Douglas.
He explained the Bill will govern the exploration, development and exploitation of power that will be generated from the country’s geothermal resources.
“We are now reaching the end stages of the drafting up of the Geothermal Bill…” Douglas stated. “The Bill is ready, basically it just has to be taken to Cabinet for Cabinet’s final blessing. The A.G (attorney general) has looked at it; all of the legal experts in the Ministry of Legal Affairs have finished with the drafting of the Bill.”
He stated that international partners has contributed to developing the Bill “to make sure that it is comprehensive and covers all the various aspects of our geothermal development.”
Douglas also said the island’s geothermal programme is well on its way.
He revealed that a number of agencies were on island last week and together with the Geothermal Development Unit held discussions at the Fort Young Hotel.
“The project is moving forward, we are at the stage where we have to decide on the best type of equipment that we need for generating the 7.5- 8 Mega Watts of power that we need,” he stated. “We are also in discussions with DOMLEC because the high tension wires that carries power around Dominica has to be upgraded to be able to absorb the geothermal power onto the grid and so that is the stage at which we are at.”
Douglas said a construction of a small geothermal plant is to begin by 2017.
In 2012 former Energy Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, had said construction of the 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.
The government has spent over $50-million in exploring the island’s geothermal potential.