Energy Minister, Ian Douglas, has said that Dominica is moving closer to harnessing geothermal energy.
In a recent statement to observe the end of the year, Douglas revealed that the Dominica Geothermal Company has been registered, and planning of the power plant is progressing.
He also highlighted that the project has garnered support from several countries.
“We are moving ever closer to the vision of realizing power from our geothermal resources. The Dominica Geothermal Company has been duly registered, and plans for the construction of the power plant are progressing satisfactorily,” he stated. “The government has invested further $15-million into this phase of the project. And we have commitments from our friends in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and the World Bank, to assist us with the completion of this project.”
This follows a decision made by the Government to run the geothermal project as a company solely owned by the government and people of Dominica. US$15-million was to be invested into the geothermal company with funds from the Citizenship by Investment Programme.
This venture, Douglas explained, will be pursued to “ensure that the vision of a prosperous, peaceful and just Dominica is successfully attained.”
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 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.