Categorized | News, Regional

Drilling of geothermal wells in Dominica to commence late July

by Mervin Matthew

ROSEAU, Dominica (GIS) — The drilling of three exploratory geothermal wells in the Roseau Valley in Dominica is expected to commence at the end of July this year.

The contract for the over 4.5 million euros project was signed in Roseau last week.

The contract was awarded to the Iceland Drilling Company and is being funded by the Agence Francaise de Development, the European Union and the government of Dominica.

Project Coordinator, Jason Timothy, explained that the long term objective is to confirm the nature and extent of the potential geothermal resource at various sites within the Wotten Waven area to determine the capacity of wells for sustainable commercial exploitation in generating electric power.

“We have continued studies into the 90s and recently as 2005, which have indicated that we have a very good resource to provide for development of all our energy needs and possibly to share with our French colleagues in the neighbouring islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. We have indications that these temperatures range from 250° – 300° which, in the context of geothermal energy is a very good resource. The area we are looking at is approximately 15 square kilometres and with this, we hope for close to one hundred and twenty megawatts.”

The European Union is providing 1.5 million euros grant funds towards the project.

Charge d’Affaires of the EU delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Hubert Perr has voiced support for the project.

“It is a unique Dominica resource that is to be tapped into. It is important, as well, because it has great potential for export as much as for domestic use so that foreign revenues can be generated from the project,” he said.

Meantime, Minister for Energy Rayburn Blackmoore said that the move towards this renewable source of energy is a welcome one for the Government and people of Dominica.

“In 2008, we spent 49.1 million East Caribbean dollars on dieseling power for the purpose of energy generation. In 2009, we spent 63.1 million dollars for the same activity. For the first half of 2010, we spent 38.9 million dollars. This simply means we are spending too much money on the importation of diesel for the express purpose of energy generation,” he said.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Roosevelt Skerrit, believes that the contract is being signed at a critical time in the global energy sector.

“We are signing this contract at a time when the price of fossil fuel on the international market has surpassed US$100 a barrel. One can appreciated the challenges this will pose to countries like Dominica and indeed the entire world because it will certainly increase the price to the public. It will increase the price of food on the shelves and in a time when all of us in this global environment are grappling with our own economic challenges,” he said.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Mervin Matthew

ROSEAU, Dominica (GIS) — The drilling of three exploratory geothermal wells in the Roseau Valley in Dominica is expected to commence at the end of July this year.

The contract for the over 4.5 million euros project was signed in Roseau last week.

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The contract was awarded to the Iceland Drilling Company and is being funded by the Agence Francaise de Development, the European Union and the government of Dominica.

Project Coordinator, Jason Timothy, explained that the long term objective is to confirm the nature and extent of the potential geothermal resource at various sites within the Wotten Waven area to determine the capacity of wells for sustainable commercial exploitation in generating electric power.

“We have continued studies into the 90s and recently as 2005, which have indicated that we have a very good resource to provide for development of all our energy needs and possibly to share with our French colleagues in the neighbouring islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. We have indications that these temperatures range from 250° – 300° which, in the context of geothermal energy is a very good resource. The area we are looking at is approximately 15 square kilometres and with this, we hope for close to one hundred and twenty megawatts.”

The European Union is providing 1.5 million euros grant funds towards the project.

Charge d’Affaires of the EU delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Hubert Perr has voiced support for the project.

“It is a unique Dominica resource that is to be tapped into. It is important, as well, because it has great potential for export as much as for domestic use so that foreign revenues can be generated from the project,” he said.

Meantime, Minister for Energy Rayburn Blackmoore said that the move towards this renewable source of energy is a welcome one for the Government and people of Dominica.

“In 2008, we spent 49.1 million East Caribbean dollars on dieseling power for the purpose of energy generation. In 2009, we spent 63.1 million dollars for the same activity. For the first half of 2010, we spent 38.9 million dollars. This simply means we are spending too much money on the importation of diesel for the express purpose of energy generation,” he said.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Roosevelt Skerrit, believes that the contract is being signed at a critical time in the global energy sector.

“We are signing this contract at a time when the price of fossil fuel on the international market has surpassed US$100 a barrel. One can appreciated the challenges this will pose to countries like Dominica and indeed the entire world because it will certainly increase the price to the public. It will increase the price of food on the shelves and in a time when all of us in this global environment are grappling with our own economic challenges,” he said.