Goverment signs geothermal drilling contract

Geothermal activity in Wotten Waven

The development of Dominica’s geothermal energy potential has moved one step closer to fruition.

Government today officially signed the contact for the drilling of exploratory geothermal wells in the Roseau Valley.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says the geothermal project will not only boost the country’s economic situation but it will help narrow the economic gap as well.

Skerrit also called on the nation to embrace the geothermal project, an initiative that he said will also eradicate some of the problems facing other sectors of the economy.

“This project, we believe can serve as a serious platform to addressing a number of challenges in the economy because clearly Dominica cannot compete with countries with fossil fuel products,” he said.

Skerrit said government believes that exploitation of Dominica’s geothermal potential could help reduce the high import bill and the issues affecting the tourism sector.

Meantime Energy Minister Rayburn Blackmoore says government is spending too much money on energy generation.

He says exploration of the country’s geothermal resource is the only answer.

The project, financed jointly by the European Union and the French Global Environment Facility, commenced in November 2008 with a total project commitment of Euro-5.5 million ($21,280,117.84), plus counterpart funding from the Government of Dominica.

EU representative Hubert Per says the European Union is pleased to be part of the project.

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  1. Man on Nevis
    May 6, 2011

    Interesting viewing this – West Indies Power have struggled to raise money to start the drilling of production wells and building a power station on Nevis. We have had to put up with a lot of broken promises from both WIP and the local government (NIA). In many cases we have been lied too. WIP is a company that has no track record and has not completed a single geothermal power station as yet. Remember WIPD promised Dominica online geothermal power by 2010. Nevis was promised similar for 2009, then 2010, then 2011 and now 2012. At present WIP are struggling to get a loan from US EXIM bank. The NIA has ‘guaranteed’ two loans for WIP totalling EC$170 on a high risk venture. At present we are not sure that EXIM will accept this as Nevis cannot give a sovereign guarantee. Interesting enough the Federal St Kitts-Nevis Government refused to guarantee the loans. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for Geothermal power but get a company with a good track record to install it.

  2. Peace and Love
    April 8, 2011

    I am all for Dominica finding some resource to catapult us to a sustainable trade surplus. Geothermal energy would be an excellent option and I support it in principle. BUT, where is the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)??? Let us not forget DOMLEC and its Hydro project of the late ’80s that led to millions in financial losses and a battered lake area in the subsequent years. The Valley is a very sensitive although magnificent zone (fresh, boiling, and probably bottomless lakes; smoking and bubbling cracks in the ground; boiling lake that loses its water for weeks and refills with no clue as to what happened; beautiful villages that lie below lakes; rivers that can swell quickly and without warning when it rains heavily; a waterfall that can dry up easily in the right conditions, etc.)

    Bring out the EIA please…post it on the Government’s website for download please. We need to be reassured that tiny natural volcanic cracks in the Valley of Desolation WILL NOT lead to earth fissures as seen in Arizona due to extensive ground water mining there.

  3. badvibes
    April 7, 2011

    Excellent initiative!!! The question is, what is the possibility of Dominican being shareholders in this venture? Is that on the cards?

    • Truth B Told
      April 7, 2011

      Good point, if shares in the venture could be offered to Dominicans (at home and abroad) I’m sure that many would be interested in investing. I know I would be.

  4. Emil Ti Kwen
    April 7, 2011

    Who signed this drilling contract on behalf of the Government of Dominica and who signed on behalf of the contractor? You will notice the name of the supposed contractor was not mentioned; neither was there mention that any excess of electricity would be sold to Martinique and Guadeloupe. I still wonder how are they going to transmit any excess electrical power to Martinique and Guadeloupe?

    • ray
      April 7, 2011

      please donot be a dam fool! do you ever read?

  5. homeboy4u
    April 7, 2011

    SMH stop being a fool non Dominicans also visit and read the news i wonder what they are thinking of a Dominican

  6. Amazing
    April 7, 2011

    Thank You!

  7. Annon
    April 7, 2011

    Great Work!! Energy is a main ingredient for boosting investment and economic growth in any ountry. It was high time we started tapping this vast energy resource we have in DA just laying there idle.
    This is good, it is very good.

  8. praise HIM
    April 6, 2011

    i wonder how would this impact the small businesses around the area, like screws and the others?i hope it will help them and not kill their businesses.Just wandering; again more power to the idea, we have to use what we have,to get what we want.

    • Dominican Airline...
      April 8, 2011

      ??????????????????????????????? You do understand that Dominica has mote than 1 source of geothermal water right? That can never hinder screws or any other sulpher spas cmon man think.

  9. Hurting Dominican
    April 6, 2011

    Please I’m not a fan of Mr. PM but this is a great initiative i just hope that the contractor knows what he is doing. This is most important if DA wants to really develop. I would like them to name the contractor. So that we know exactly who he is and raise flags especially given what has happened in St. Lucia and Grenada. Good Job on this One Mr. Pm but i still don’t support you

  10. Stranger
    April 6, 2011

    So many Ignorant people….smh….Why does EVERYTHING have to be based on Politics for you all…This is a GREAT initiative and if it is undertake properly who knows, might even have the ability to export energy to our neighboring islands….The cost of electricity is Essential to doing business because it is an inescapable cost. If we are able to reduce this cost by producing Geothermal energy the benefits will flow right through the economy and there may be things like price reduction on goods and also services(which would benefit us ALL) . Additionally, DOMINICA would look more attractive to foreign investors because of a reduced cost of doing business here…..

  11. Curious
    April 6, 2011

    In A Govt. Press Release of July 31, 2008 headlined
    GOVERNMENT SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH WIPD TO DEVELOP GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES IN THE SOUTH it stated that a license was granted to West Indies Power Dominica Limited(WIPD) for the purpose of developing the country’s geothermal energy resources in the Soufriere/ Scotts Head area.
    The signing of the agreement took place between the Government of Dominica and West Indies Power Dominica Limited in July 2008. Who are the Directors or persons involved in West Indies Power Dominica Limited? Because West Indies Power Holdings (BV), is the parent company of West Indies Power Dominica Limited. Former Manager Director of the National Bank of Dominica and Chairman of West Indies Power Holdings BV, is Mr. Gregory de Gannes. Remember the allegations and controversies regarding the NBD?

    Phase One (exploration phase) involved surveys to identify the geothermal fields and estimate the potential of the resources available in the south of the island. The exploration phase would cost some $11 million ECD and is to be funded by the private capital of West Indies Power Holdings (BV), parent company of West Indies Power Dominica Limited.
    The estimated time for this phase was approximately eighteen months.

    The next phase will see the construction of a 15 megawatt plant which should be completed in 12-16 months after the exploration phase has finished. The cost of construction of the plant has been put at $120 million ECD and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. What is the status of that venture? Are Dominicans aware what exactly is happening?

    According to Mr. Dmitrijus Apockinas, Chief Financial Officer of West Indies Power Dominica Limited, the State of Dominica would receive 10 percent equity stake in West Indies Power Dominica Limited. This stake would allow Dominica to receive dividends. Dominica will also receive annual royalties of 3 percent on the domestic supply and 5 percent on export of the gross sales power including carbon credits.

    Who owns the other 90%? My people, note carefully the meager amount, the MYET Dominica would be getting when the project is completed and sales begin? Remember what initially took place with that project? Remember almost $2,000,000.00 has already gone to .(YOU KNOW WHOM)………………… for LEGAL FEES? Skerritt tells Dominicans to embrace the Geothermal Project. But in the first place Dominicans with the knowledge and capabilities who proposed an interest and to have stake in that project were cast aside. Govt preferred to collaborate and work with the foreign owned West Indies Power Co. That Co. has exclusive rights to control and make huge profits from the exploration of our important Natural Energy resource. Dominica would be receiving PITTANCE. MARK MY WORDS?

    • Geothermal patriot
      April 7, 2011

      According to my sources WIP project is slowly moving forward, hearing on drilling EIA will be held publicly in the middle of April. Why it has been moving slowly? Many issues, among them:

      1. No private investment beyond studies will take place unless Power purchase agreement is signed between WIP and Domlec or WIP and Government. Domlec is obviously not keen on anything except continuing burning diesel, as they invested heavily in the generation facilities over the years. There where some talks between WIP and Domlec, but nothing has happened due to the lack of interest from Domlec.

      2. No private investment beyond studies will take place unless debt financing is secured, which is impossible to do with having Power purchase agreement, see point 1

      On Roseau Valley project – plausible initiative, worth spending money for the sake of science. Any geothermal production specialist will tell you that infrastructure investment necessary to build a power plant or in fact just to bring production drilling rig to Wotten Waiven is going to make such project financially not feasible. Lack of flat ground make me wonder, where the hell are they going to put the power plant, even just for 10 MW.

      Re allegations on bribes – give me a brake, nobody paid anyone a dime to get WIP a licence, knowing these guys behind WIP and the fact that ExIm financing Nevis project, I am sure that US State department conducted full investigation of WIP practices under corruption prevention legislation of US.

      Good luck to the project in WW, but beyond shallow test well drilling nothing is going to happen there…. ever!

      • Geothermal patriot
        April 7, 2011

        How about this one: White House supports Nevis energy proposal

        Full text of report, starts on page 71

        CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, Thursday April 7, 2011 – The White House has given its support to the idea of a submarine electrical interconnection to supply low cost renewable “green” energy from Nevis, West Indies to Puerto Rico.

        West Indies Power (WIP) proposes to supply geothermal energy to Puerto Rico, by 2015, via a submarine cable similar to what is already in use in Europe (Norway to Holland).

        The US Government’s backing of the idea came in the ‘Report by the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status’, which offers concrete proposals to spur the Puerto Rico economy as well as specific transportation, energy and federal programme proposals.

        It recommends that “to advance discussions in the Caribbean region on the potential for subsea electrical interconnection under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, the Department of State, through a grant to the Organization of American States (OAS), should fund a pre-feasibility study to examine an interconnection between Puerto Rico and St. Kitts and Nevis”.

        “This work results from a request from the government of St. Kitts and Nevis for the Department of State’s assistance as it tries to develop Nevis’ geothermal resources (estimated potential of up to 300 megawatts (MW)). St. Kitts and Nevis’ power demand is approximately 40 MW, making Puerto Rico an important prospective market,” it added.

        WIP’s Chief Executive Officer Kerry McDonald said the company was happy to see that the US Government supports the company’s idea of a ‘Caribbean Interconnect Project’ which proposes the creation of a submarine electrical grid to supply electrical power from its geothermal power plants in Nevis, Dominica and Saba to the islands of the Caribbean including Puerto Rico.

  12. SMH
    April 6, 2011

    more wastage of money in areas which are unimportant presently…
    continue my WONDERFUL government…

    • roads
      April 6, 2011

      SMH are you that blind? Do you not read, watch international news or visit international news blogs online? Wars are being fought in the name of energy. Countries cannot move forward without energy. Investment in cheap and renewable energy can NEVER be a waste!
      Have you ever flown over Dominica at night? The only area in Dominica that seems to be lit is Roseau. The rest is total darkness.

    • Anonymous
      April 6, 2011

      Are you serious?

  13. pedro
    April 6, 2011

    I would like to know where government is spending to much money on generation. As far as I know Government is not in the business of energy generation

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2011

      Some of you guys are such idiots!!!!!

    • Dominican Airline...
      April 8, 2011

      Lmfao another classic jackass lmfao you ppl don’t read nor listen to news local and international lol this guy comment is the epiphany of stupidity I’m congratulating you with you achievement Dr jackass PHD. :mrgreen:

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