Gov’t to go alone with geothermal plant

Geothermal flow test in the Roseau Valley
Geothermal flow test in the Roseau Valley

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has revealed that government will go ahead alone in constructing a small geothermal plant in Dominica.

Speaking during the debate on the Geothermal Resources Development Bill in parliament on Monday, he said the government will take all risks associated with the construction of the facility.

“The government will go it alone with regards to this small plant,” he said.

Skerrit said over the past years the government has been in negotiations with different people on the project but things did not work out due to “other considerations.”

“There were some issues among themselves and they figure it might be in their interest not to proceed with the project,” he stated. “But what did this is that it gave us a better opportunity for the government and people of Dominica to not only own the resources but to own entirely the geothermal plant development.”

He remarked that government will take all risks associated with the project and will eventually make the company available to Dominicans via shares.

“What we’ve seen as a government is that the government of Dominica will take all the risks associated with construction of the plant,” the Prime Minister said. “Once the plant in constructed and we are selling to the grid, we will now invite Dominicans, because it is our intention to make available to the Dominican public about 50 percent of the company, even 100 pecent, to make a minimum of 50 percent available while way of shares in that company to the Dominican public.”

He said the government will be in the business of generating electricity with the intention of selling to DOMLEC and DOMLEC will pass it on to consumers.

The government has spent over $50-million exploring the island’s geothermal potential and 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 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.

He stated that it is ready to be taken to cabinet for “final blessing,” adding that the geothermal program is well on its way.

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.

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  1. Odinn
    October 26, 2016

    It is probably not a bad thing to do as the PM intends. The Commonwealth of Dominica has limited options with regards to utilizing the geothermal energy. Two options indeed. The former choice is to lease the right to exploit the abundant natural resource to an established and accredited energy investor/company, with the obligation to provide electricity to the national grid. The power company would produce much more energy than needed in D/ca and export the surplus, creating revenue. That was the initial idea and has now been abandoned since the French company left and quit. The latter option is to finance a small geothermal power plant owned by the state, only to provide the people of Dominica with green and non-polluting energy. The government would have to get support from the international development funds to do so, since the investment is roughly 10 million USD pr. MW of installed capacity. It would provide energy independence and self-governance to Dominica.

  2. cameron
    October 26, 2016

    Skerrit good job,continue fooling the fools that drink the Skerrit wine,Skerrit have you done the math ansd see how much this will cost,man up and face the truth another failed project,by your so called labour ktwavy.

  3. Ann
    October 26, 2016

    I should be optimistic but this has the potential to GO the way of Hydro if contracts are not carefully written with such requirements. Just look what Domlec has done to kill our Hydro.
    Then again this will be crafted by politicians who are preoccupied with winning elections. All Domlec has to do is forward money to the same gov’t to help pay civil servants, contribute towards political campaigns and …..poof……just like Hydro, no requirement or provision to reinvest in their poorly written contracts.

  4. jack charlton
    October 26, 2016

    Which engineering firm will be chosen for this project? Harnessing thousands of pounds per square foot of very high temperature steam does require specific knowledge and experience. The concept of Dominica operating its very own geothermal electricity generation is politically appealing and could be feasible, but its got to be done right from day 1.

  5. October 26, 2016

    I guess everyone else pulled out to cut their loss’. Just like the British pulled out to cut their loss’. And Skerrit thinks that he has the money to continue the project? Where is that money coming from? I am sure that we will hear less and less of the project as time and money go by.

  6. ....
    October 25, 2016

    Kyoneh kyoneh ayeh paka twavay a payi sala

  7. Character
    October 25, 2016

    Why did the other foreign companies pull out Mr Skerritt? Why is Dominica forced to go solo on this project? What expertise do we have in Dominica to undergo this type of activity? Yes father, Dominicans doesn’t ask no questions, they just take whatever their PM says. Help is father

  8. Bumbble Lee
    October 25, 2016

    How is the acquisition of Dominica Coconut Product (DCP) by the Scaritians going?

    October 25, 2016

    Another white elephant by dlp

  10. Jaded
    October 25, 2016

    I am afraid that a small plant will not provide sufficient economies of scale to be worthwhile. Government should go big so everyone can benefit or not at all. I suspect that investors pulled out because of the small population compared to the amount of dollars needed to be invested. Wind and solar are also viable alternatives.

  11. JoJo
    October 25, 2016

    Sorry to say that Roosevelt but this time I really believe you have lost your marbles.

  12. Shameless
    October 25, 2016

    “The government has spent over $50-million exploring the island’s geothermal potential …..”

    What a waste of money. It was “alleged” that most of that money went back into politicians pockets as kickbacks and I am beginning to believe it. The french and Danish have already told us the cost of making this remotely feasible and profitable is remote but we continue to put our heads in the sand. This project is a failure and a waste of our money. If Vince Henderson is honest he will tell us that we will not recover the money spent and its time to call it a day. Skerro and his cohorts continue to insult our intelligence but time will tell. Remember I told you all so……this is a failed project.

    Always assertive! :twisted: :twisted:

  13. dissident
    October 25, 2016

    Negotiations failed!
    Remember Electricity de France pulled out?
    Now we can’t get a partner to build a small plant. Such ambitious plans for selling electricity to French neighbors!
    St.Kitts will be laughing at us pretty soon!
    I’m curious to know what were the considerations that caused our partners to pull out of negotiations!
    But skerrit will not explain!
    No depth…….. like this is all a big joke! Clown!!!

    But the real issue might be ownership of the assets!
    Public. Private or State owned!

    That’s interesting!!!!!

  14. Malgraysa
    October 25, 2016

    World Bank assessment report PAD 0659 of 2 April, 2014.

    I am a Dominican but will not invest a single penny in Skerrit’s geothermal madcap scheme but play safe an invest in solar energy like mr. Nassief has done at his business properties in Dominica. Is he wrong?

  15. fun&frolic
    October 25, 2016

    With all dat hot air Skerrit belching, he should be the turbine for the geothermal project himself.

  16. fun&frolic
    October 25, 2016

    So yet another shell project will be created to siphon money to more offshore accounts. Since there will be no independent principal partners, there will be no independent accounting. I would cry for you, Dominica, but my tears are reserved for those who deserve them, not for those who willing voted calamity upon themselves.

  17. wa3y papa
    October 25, 2016

    Skerrit just chook his finger in all you eyes. It hurting but all you still not saying “aye”.

  18. look -are-man -we
    October 25, 2016

    you hear lies… Dont go it alone, send Blackmore to test it. He’s useless .

  19. Lang Mama
    October 25, 2016

    Skerrit and his administration had a perfect opportunity to alleviate the energy situation in Dominica when the petro Caribe opportunity came by. The petro Caribe money should have been used to develop solar farms and wind turbines so that the island would become less dependent on fossil fuel.
    This is the administration that came across the most money and the most failed policy as well. Skerrit has been A total disaster.

    • real possie
      October 25, 2016

      @ Lang funny you would say they came across the most money, aren’t you one of whom cried down them putting themselves in position to have that type of money come in the country?

      • rasta
        October 26, 2016

        @real posse- Some of seems either to miss the point or simply play ignorant. When petro carib came to invest in DA the deal was to have amount paid back to venezula over a twenty year period at a very low rate, an amount was to be used for reinvestment. Guess what the Gov’nt used most to play stupid politics. The rotwiler himself said that when this plant is opened Dominicans will benefit from cheap electricity. Did that happen? NO. Government could have easily supplied Domlec at almost cost price the diesel since this deal was so ridiculous and in term we all would benefit from much cheaper electricity. secondly , first time in the history of dominica that passport has become “the dominica economy” with so much revenue. Guess what instead of using this money to empower our local engineers, architect, business personal, and so many others the money is used to campaign , play politics like the red clinic. It that how we empower our locals through begging?

  20. October 25, 2016

    Skerrit and failed projects go hand in hand
    Roosvelt Failed Project Skerrit :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

  21. Shaka Zulu
    October 25, 2016

    Who have eyes to see will see, who have ears to hear will hear. This is a bad business proposition. The labour party government has a reputation of failed projects. Over 50 million already spent. I do not think that this was skerrit money so that means the same public who you asking to buy shares already 50 million in the hole. Secondly the plant is going to cost millions to build and operating and maintenance. The reason investors pulled out is because they cannot see profitability and probably too much government control. As I have said before Geothermal is not bad deal but the way the Government have gone about was flawed and more about politics than commonsense. It’s a bad idea to make investment. I am not saying this to be pessimistic but I know what I am talking about.

  22. Anthony P. Isamel
    October 25, 2016

    I actually like this idea. Small states often suffer and fail to develop and keep pace with the needs of their citizens, because they never take any risk associated with industry development. Foreign partnerships often leave them with a small percentage of revenue created from their own industries. Jamaican bauxite and Alcoa is one glaring example. If we wan reduce the cost of producing electricity of on the island and the retail cost to businesses and consumers, the net effect could be a positive one.

    • Lang Mama
      October 25, 2016

      Anthony you are making a valid point but your argument at this juncture is somewhat misdirected. The problem is the competency or lack thereof this administration to effectively manage the affairs of Dominica. Certainly we don’t have the resources and flexibilities to throw money around in guessing games. Do you know that a group of Dominicans had express interest in the geothermal program way before Skerrit blew $60 million dollars not counting millions given away to West Indies company?
      The discussion should not be about whether it is better to own this venture than to put it in the hands of foreign interest. The discussion must be about effective management cause in any civilize society a CEO that blow away much needed resources should hit the road. That is what we should be talking about.

    • October 26, 2016

      However, the geothermal project is not the answer for that.

    • Odinn
      October 26, 2016

      That is a good point. The self-governance and not having to pick the crumbs of the corporate table is a good thing. Shadow financing of large industries in developing countries is a major problem and most of the revenue created will go out of the county.

    October 25, 2016

    Well its new undertaking and probably one of the most complex ones for Dominica. Countries like China, , South Korea, Japan & Saudi Arabia were able to develop by learning from other countries how to do things on their own. The knowledge is priceless.

    its risky endevour but one cannot be afraid to take such risks , when the rewards are so promising. Dominicans will be able to do this for other countries and would be the first in the Caribbean. We have 9 volcanoes when everyone else has 1, we have over 300 rivers when most Islands don’t have any or just a couple.

    The young generation should be learning about these things yet the youth of the country just wasting everything people put into them and at the same time blaming other people for their laziness… parents must demand a lot more of their children. and themselves as parents.

  24. Mamizoo
    October 25, 2016

    How this guy get away with thinking that he is fooling people that are smarter than he is not amazing to me at all. Skerrit hasupporters been in the position simply because of selfish,corrupt, greedy people who know that Skerrit is and has been bad for the country yet their greed will not allow them to put country first

    • Arte El Labore
      October 25, 2016

      MMamizoo, Mr Skerrit is not Mr bobohaha Lennox Linton who is selfish, corrupt, big time lier …….. OH their’s an old saying, if you white you alright if you brown stick around and if you black stay back, the latter goes to like you.

      • Mamizoo
        October 25, 2016

        I notice that the truth really offended you. You think that I am here to defend or push a politician’s agenda just because I speak the truth it shows that you are nothing but a slave. You come here to promote white is right and Black stay back and you are so proud but this is nothing but ghetto talk and the more you wallow in ghetto tendencies the more likely you are to remain stagnant. So who is lagging behind.
        What else you got to say- I am jealous of Skerrit? Guess what pa tout mangais bon pour mangais. Karma always get it’s day

      • October 25, 2016

        Why dont you get off your brain and contribute something meaningful to the discussion?? your brains must be flat like a bakes :-D :-D

      • Okay, I promised I will not call you Mr. El Dog anymore, and that is because you have a bit of human conscience in you, and know when to separate politics from humanity; in that you shared your empathy with me when you read about the death of my Son.

        Nevertheless, I would like you to tell me personally where you found, or caught Lennox Linton lying, and in what corrupted act you caught him?

        Man just because you do not like someone, it’s not good to accuse them without a cause. Now I can call you boy Skerrit, a liar, because he lied to me personal, one on one; he lied to me. Secondly Skerrit’s corruption has been exposed so many times, that had it not because we have a corrupted judicial system in Dominica which protects, and rule in that Crapo favor all the time Skerrit would be living jail.

        Remember it was Lennox Linton who exposed the corruption of this guy, when they were thieving more than five hundred thousand dollars, because of Lennox that money went back into the…

      • rasta
        October 26, 2016

        @Art El Lab-fool: If your P.M is so “clean” please have him disclose the details of his passport.
        And by the way please ask him why did he write to the french authorities.
        When you do speak to him ask him the following: Is it ethical to rent his property to himself?
        Was it ethical to have police digg up linton place when he knew full well it was tony who licked out the ipo information.
        Was it ethical to allow one minister brother to purchase garbage bins when there is a department to deal with such purchases?
        Was it ethical to have Bajans build a bridge without tendering when there are so many local companies who could do the job?
        Was it ethical not to investigate the fire bombing of the two senior citizens because of those you may be implicated?
        When you do meet him and you offer the response i do have a few more for you.

  25. Truth Be Told
    October 25, 2016

    Happy Independence Dominica. After thirty-eight years of independence this is how a Prime Minister answers a question, and you all say he studied and taught English? “There were some issues among themselves and they figure it might be in their interest not to proceed with the project… But what did this is that it gave us a better opportunity for the government and people of Dominica to not only own the resources but to own entirely the geothermal plant development.” Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit. :oops:

  26. Country Man
    October 25, 2016

    This Gov’t have selectively chosen who they want to discuss this project with and have not seriously engaged interested people in the diaspora with the expertise in clean energy project. They would have known 7 years ago that this geothermal project will not yield the lowest levelized cost of energy from available renewable energy resources. They were happy to bounce around with the world bank, clinton climate initiative, and the likes who bring no technical expertise but use our situation to create jobs for their consultant groups to keep us in stagnation. At the end they say the obvious and to save face the Gov’t is now ready to do it alone. I would suggest they take some time and revisit their strategy – it is less painful to take the loss now than to go all the way to the end. Dominicans should demand that the money should be invest in solar and grid, micro grids, the modernization of the grid infrastructure on island. NUFF SAID!!

    • Mamizoo
      October 25, 2016

      Thank you for expressing my sentiments in a better way than I would. Skerrit’s biggest problem is not just incompetence but his arrogance.
      We all know that lying is like anew ocean liner in motion-very difficult to stop. Notice that he dare not mention what are the factors or issues of concern to the investors.

  27. Even if Skerrit remains prime minister in Dominica for a thousand years this so called geothermal plant will never come to fruition. Skerrit chief engineer on the project has no skills in the building of a dog house never mind the engineering skills to construct such a plant.

    One who claimed to be a geologist is not capable, or have the knowledge to set up a geothermal electricity generating plant. This so called idea of Skerrit is long dead! If he cannot repair Marigot hospital, and is talking about thirty thousand dollars to repair roads in Marigot when the entire village roads need renovation, where is Skerrit getting the money from to build geothermal plant.

    The fact that he cannot attract any foreign nor local investors to loose their money in his nonsense speaks volumes, such as dead before birth!

    • kweole famm
      October 25, 2016


  28. Country Man
    October 25, 2016

    Hmm – Is this the least cost pathway to renewable energy development on island. With the time, money and effort placed on this geothermal project we could have had half of our energy coming from solar and optimized our grid infrastructure to be more dynamic. Question – Does a government that has no expertise in the development of energy project go it alone build own and operate a geothermal power plant? Operating and maintaining a geothermal power plant in Dominica is going to be very costly and economies of scale does not work well with this project. The installed cost per MW of geothermal in Dominica will be in excess of 4 million USD/MW – at least 2X the cost per MW for solar which has a much lower O&M cost. If the Gov’t goal is to reduce the levelized cost of energy to the consumer then they are not on the right path and to pay for this outright and own and operate it is going to put a drain on limited financial resources. How are they going to get shareholders to buy into this.

    • Bro
      October 25, 2016

      It seems the the general public that you are aware of what you are talking about, but in reality you don’t.
      Does solar cost $2 million per MW? Hmm.. According to Antigua nope.
      In the long run is solar generated power cheaper than geothermal? Nope. Solar is only available for generation less than 20% of time during a normal year. Geothermal energy can generate 95% of the time making it more efficient than fossil fuel generators. Even hydro power only produce power at its rated cap act an average 50% of the time in a given year.
      Now I don’t have to space here to expound, but I trust you can understand.
      Also, because of the higher avaiLabilty time, the electric grid will have a continually more reliable energy supply with geothermal. Are we gonna generate solar energy at night or on a cloudy/ rainy day? Remember this is Dominica not sunny Antigua.

      • “Are we gonna generate solar energy at night or on a cloudy/ rainy day? Remember this is Dominica not sunny Antigua.”

        Guy you are confused, and do not know what you are talking about. You are not saying anything but, contradiction yourself, what does sunny Antigua have to do with it.

        Remember the sun rise from the East in Antigua, and sets in the West like all other places on the planet, the sun does not shine at night over Antigua, besides Solar Energy is utilized in most places where there are four seasons. “Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.” So, if you are suggesting it becomes overcast in Dominica, ant it rains a lot, and that will hamper energy production.

        What happens in America, where it snows, and overcast almost all Winter, and Fall? And you see this crap “Are we gonna generate.” There is no such word as gonna, in English gramma!”

      • Odinn
        October 26, 2016

        You are right Bro. Geothermal energy and hydro to some extent will provide the neccesary base-load of electricity that is needed. Solar is good but nor powering cooling units and other appliances at night.

      • Odinn
        October 26, 2016

        Good point Bro. Geothermal power (and hydro) are essential sources to provide for the base-load electricity. Solar power can not power your lights at night nor keep the air conditioning running.

  29. Concerned Dominican
    October 25, 2016

    These utterances by the PM appear to be words being used to BLOCK HOLES in the project so as to not have persons lose confidence in it. But when you look at their past statements and the timelines in those statements, combined with similar statements about other projects which have gone past the dates stated for completion by one, two, three and more years, then one cannot have full confidence in the words of the PM at this time! Saying for example that once the plant is up and running, that they will give the Dominican people the opportunity to buy shares in the company, saying first 50%, then straight into ‘even 100%’ then going back to fifty again; this is all just talk that we cannot take seriously until we see it happening before our eyes!! Lets hope and pray, for the sake of the safety of persons in Laudat, The Valley, Roseau and surrounding areas, that this project actually works and does not suffer any serious mishaps. May God be with us on this one!!

  30. zandoli
    October 25, 2016

    Investors are always chasing avenues to make money. Are they seeing something the government does not want to see? Like a money pit?

  31. AA
    October 25, 2016

    This labor party and their focus never ceases to amaze me. You idiots have not realized that the building of a small plant will not make power cheaper for Dominicans? All of the experts have told you all that the only way that this can be viable is if power can be sold to Martinique and Guadeloupe, yet you all insist on wasting the peoples money, and at the end of the day saddle the country with additional debt. It is really sad that you all are so dumb that you cannot see that this venture is not generating any interest because it is not a viable prospect long-term for the country. You all continue to waste the countries resources and damage the future of the country with the recklessness that you all are embarking on. This is not the best venture to put the states resources in as it have been proven that it is not a long term viable option. GET REAL WITH THE PEOPLE AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT

  32. Malgraysa
    October 25, 2016

    Are we to read this that no outside interests are prepared to invest money in this project and if so why? Also, I suspect a separate company will be set up for this project and I only pray to God that certain big boys, including Ministers of Govt. have not already decided that they will own the majority of shares and certainly the voting rights. This to make up for the lucrative proceeds derived from the PetroCaribe arrangement, which is in its death throes.

  33. lightbulb
    October 25, 2016

    Promising, let the diaspora with the big talk back up with the big dollars, pounds, and euros.

  34. jonathan st jean
    October 25, 2016

    Government has been in negotiations with others but things did not work out.Humm,one wonders what are the specific areas and reasons why others are not getting into a somewhat lucrative venture,because of secure market for the necessary final product.Could it be that the others are seeing potential dangers and liabilities down the road and as such are avoiding the potential negativity associated.By not putting out the specifics the Skerritt administration is leaving to us to speculate.Why does this government love to hate to be forthright with it’s people.It may be foolhardy to rush into where wise men won’t go.In case of catastrophe we reserve the right to sue Skerritt for this cavalier decision.

  35. Kelly
    October 25, 2016

    hmm, interesting….but they made a massive holla about the Kiwis involvement etc..haha..

    why did other agencies pull out…Athie was on point speaking about the issues the French stated in it’s report re the project….

    Skerritt should quickly shelved that project it’s a waste of time, why put a risk on for what…the Prime Minister yet again is disregarding rules and best practices…

    it doesn’t surprise me at under his leadership dominica is the poorest and slowest economy in the eastern caribbean, zero growth, it’s all about trickery and deception, but sadly dominicans are not known to be smart headed citizens they fall easily for $20.00

    that’s why the known globally as the FOOLS PARADISE……DOMINICA.

  36. Vaffanculo_PM
    October 25, 2016

    Colin talk to mister, he will bankrupt the country cause he is not using commonsense, so much money spent already he has no choice but to continue which will lead to a disaster.

  37. derp
    October 25, 2016

    He said the government will be in the business of generating electricity with the intention of selling to DOMLEC and DOMLEC will pass it on to consumers

    LOL JOKES, who say Domlec MUST buy your electricity

    So um is the government going to build a two by four station or will they get expertise advise from New Zealand???

    • Tjebe fort
      October 25, 2016

      You are right Derp. Skerrits’s hole-in-the ground- company wants to make a profit and Domlec wants to make profit. Just to pay back the investment costs is already a nightmare. That doesn’t make sense to me. Why have two companies making profit out of supplying electricity to us and unless govt. forces Domlec to buy their expensive electricity they are free to buy diesel outside if that is cheaper for them. What about all these new hotel developments. Do they have to buy their electricity from govt. too or can they generate their own. Skerrit just wants a monopoly to print money for himself and his friends. All this sounds like koko makak to me.

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