Categorized | Editorial, Local

Deception is the name of the ‘game’ while the SGP falters

Editorial – April 11, 2014

Someone in a group in discussion asked a question representing the general consensus, “Why, or rather, how is it the incumbent Government of Montserrat (GoM), in spite of their continued attempts at misinforming the people at their perception of great achievements, seems to be actually begging to be re-elected?”

We would reply, it is because they themselves are not convinced with their style of deception, their rhetoric deceptive behavior.

Geothermal

We were called to a press conference which normally we would decline because there was a mere 45 minute notice, but it was felt there would have been an explanation for the suddenness. And, we have been waiting for news, some news for a long time. When we got to the press conference, no other media was present, not ZJB news or anyone else, so unprepared, feeling trapped and not knowing exactly what it was about, The Montserrat Reporter stayed.

Dr. Mike Allen introduced himself, as one of a group of persons with representations from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communication and Works, Montserrat Utilities (MUL), DFID; it looked like a strong makeup of the Geothermal Unit.

Dr. Allen is the man in charge of directing the project on behalf of GoM. After telling that he is from New Zealand and that he has been involved with the project “since about 2011” and saying that he has experience in geothermal development for about 60 years and internationally for about 40 years, he proceeded to say, “…last year two wells have been completed and both of those wells have struck high temperatures and I think it’s fair to say that the production from  both of them was quite modest by international standards.”

Everyone has been waiting for news on the outcome of the drilling, but Dr. Allen never did confirm that the wells were producing two megawatts of geothermal energy. In answer to our questions,  he said this was quite modest and explained. “…when I talk about modest flow I mean if you look sort of internationally and drill a productive well and you went around the world and looked at thousands that are being drilled you would probably get about five (5) megawatts electricity out of a well,” adding, “we’re getting something in the order of two (2), so it’s not as big as the international average that’s all I’m saying so it’s more of a modest scale.

While this was by no means surprising, what was shocking is that Dr. Allen could not confirm that this was in fact the case, but assured that there needed to be more “intense” testing. He also talked about Montserrat needs at the moment being only about one and a half to two megawatts, and the possibility of having to mix both geothermal and diesel to meet peek demands.

One thing was certain that the “game changer” that we have heard of so frequently was nowhere in site, but Allen noted that they have already gone out to look for private sector interest in developing the next phase of building a two megawatt plant. We will bring more of the explanations as to what Dr. Allen reported as we asked what of all the reported testing and the delay in reporting since last October.

The Grand strategic development growth plan

As much of the lack of consultation and the environmental and social concerns which a British Government Select Committee has confirmed that GoM is guilty of, aided and promoted by DFID, the deception continues. We have been waiting for the Premier to reveal the contents of a letter from DFID’s Minister Alan Duncan that they no longer feel any commitment to developing a port at Carrs Bay, while committed to continue the infrastructure preparation for Little Bay Development to include the new town centre.

Immediately following the Budget Debate we learnt that the Premier and a team left the island to pursue investors to develop Little Bay (the grand five-star-hotel,) and the Carrs Bay port.

GoM had signed off with DFID (HMG) on time lines to produce certain actions in keeping with the SGP which we were almost certain HMG thought would not materialise. HMG/DFID graciously and confidently granted more time. The problem where will Montserrat on its own, since we are not aware they have sought the expertise of the British experts, find over half a billion US dollars to spend in Montserrat.

We have contended all along that the plans should be scrapped and start again since we did not have a plan B. But it is an election year and as far back as 2012 with just under two years to go, there was not enough time. We believe the port project decline has so much to do with that Select Committee report in respect of Piper’s Pone and Gun hill.

The CEO Ivan Browne ventured to rush by Montserrat with a dirty mouthful of misinformation, while assuring that although they are at a standstill they will continue nonetheless albeit slowly. The rush that he should refer to “as far as I know”, is proving disastrous.

We wait on him to tell us what the nonfactual information are published in letters and articles in The Montserrat Reporter.

 

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Editorial – April 11, 2014

Someone in a group in discussion asked a question representing the general consensus, “Why, or rather, how is it the incumbent Government of Montserrat (GoM), in spite of their continued attempts at misinforming the people at their perception of great achievements, seems to be actually begging to be re-elected?”

We would reply, it is because they themselves are not convinced with their style of deception, their rhetoric deceptive behavior.

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Geothermal

We were called to a press conference which normally we would decline because there was a mere 45 minute notice, but it was felt there would have been an explanation for the suddenness. And, we have been waiting for news, some news for a long time. When we got to the press conference, no other media was present, not ZJB news or anyone else, so unprepared, feeling trapped and not knowing exactly what it was about, The Montserrat Reporter stayed.

Dr. Mike Allen introduced himself, as one of a group of persons with representations from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communication and Works, Montserrat Utilities (MUL), DFID; it looked like a strong makeup of the Geothermal Unit.

Dr. Allen is the man in charge of directing the project on behalf of GoM. After telling that he is from New Zealand and that he has been involved with the project “since about 2011” and saying that he has experience in geothermal development for about 60 years and internationally for about 40 years, he proceeded to say, “…last year two wells have been completed and both of those wells have struck high temperatures and I think it’s fair to say that the production from  both of them was quite modest by international standards.”

Everyone has been waiting for news on the outcome of the drilling, but Dr. Allen never did confirm that the wells were producing two megawatts of geothermal energy. In answer to our questions,  he said this was quite modest and explained. “…when I talk about modest flow I mean if you look sort of internationally and drill a productive well and you went around the world and looked at thousands that are being drilled you would probably get about five (5) megawatts electricity out of a well,” adding, “we’re getting something in the order of two (2), so it’s not as big as the international average that’s all I’m saying so it’s more of a modest scale.

While this was by no means surprising, what was shocking is that Dr. Allen could not confirm that this was in fact the case, but assured that there needed to be more “intense” testing. He also talked about Montserrat needs at the moment being only about one and a half to two megawatts, and the possibility of having to mix both geothermal and diesel to meet peek demands.

One thing was certain that the “game changer” that we have heard of so frequently was nowhere in site, but Allen noted that they have already gone out to look for private sector interest in developing the next phase of building a two megawatt plant. We will bring more of the explanations as to what Dr. Allen reported as we asked what of all the reported testing and the delay in reporting since last October.

The Grand strategic development growth plan

As much of the lack of consultation and the environmental and social concerns which a British Government Select Committee has confirmed that GoM is guilty of, aided and promoted by DFID, the deception continues. We have been waiting for the Premier to reveal the contents of a letter from DFID’s Minister Alan Duncan that they no longer feel any commitment to developing a port at Carrs Bay, while committed to continue the infrastructure preparation for Little Bay Development to include the new town centre.

Immediately following the Budget Debate we learnt that the Premier and a team left the island to pursue investors to develop Little Bay (the grand five-star-hotel,) and the Carrs Bay port.

GoM had signed off with DFID (HMG) on time lines to produce certain actions in keeping with the SGP which we were almost certain HMG thought would not materialise. HMG/DFID graciously and confidently granted more time. The problem where will Montserrat on its own, since we are not aware they have sought the expertise of the British experts, find over half a billion US dollars to spend in Montserrat.

We have contended all along that the plans should be scrapped and start again since we did not have a plan B. But it is an election year and as far back as 2012 with just under two years to go, there was not enough time. We believe the port project decline has so much to do with that Select Committee report in respect of Piper’s Pone and Gun hill.

The CEO Ivan Browne ventured to rush by Montserrat with a dirty mouthful of misinformation, while assuring that although they are at a standstill they will continue nonetheless albeit slowly. The rush that he should refer to “as far as I know”, is proving disastrous.

We wait on him to tell us what the nonfactual information are published in letters and articles in The Montserrat Reporter.