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EIA on third Geothermal Well Project Information Evening

geothermal-steaming from Well

geothermal-steaming from Well

by B. Roach

BRADES –(Adapted) A public information evening was due to be held this last evening to provide details on the process of undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in preparation for drilling a third geothermal well.  An EIA is the first stage in the development process which examines potential effects of the project on the surrounding area and local communities.

Teams of consultants lead by Dr. Erwin Edwards of Atom Solutions are on island this week conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment.

The session was scheduled to be held at the Brades Arts & Education Centre on Thursday from 5.00 P.M. to 7.00 P.M., to give residents an opportunity to share their opinions on the planned project activities. A cross section of government and private stakeholders and the general were invited to attend and make their contributions.

Officials from the Ministry of Communications, Works and Labour said public feedback was an important part of the process.

The Department for International Development has allocated $17.6 million for this phase, which is intended to increase the potential yield of this green energy from 2MW to 5MW. It is hoped that drilling will commence in early 2016.

Atom Solutions Inc., a global energy and technology services provider registered in Barbados carried out an ESIA (Environmental Social Impact Assessment) in September 2012 prior to the beginning of the exploratory drilling of wells in connection with the geothermal development at the base of Weekes and Cork Hill described then as Richmond Hill within the daytime exclusion zone as it was then. That zone has now changed.

Ron Beardsley PWD head at the time explained, “The outcomes from the ESIA will determine if restrictions or mitigation measures are required to minimise the impact on any endangered fauna/flora, wildlife habitats or water sources. It also looks at potential impacts on the public and residents nearby.

He also noted: “Given the location we are not anticipating too many issues. The impact of ash and acid rain has taken its toll on the area and there are no habitable dwellings nearby.”

previous Wells drilling rig

previous Wells drilling rig

Sources say that the acquisition of the lands for the third well drilling is not yet completed, but a previous release said that the drilling will commence early next year. It is now said ‘Completing an Environment Impact Assessment is a critical component in the forward movement of the project.’

And that EIA is to be presented in current circumstances and against some specific c backgrounds.

According some post press information provided, “…it is proposed to proceed directly to the drilling of a production size well rather than smaller pre-production exploration ‘slim holes’ that would then need to be followed by production wells. The drilling of a slim hole before the production wells would only introduce unreasonably delays to what is an already relatively costly development.

“This 3rd well will be drilled to a depth of between 2,000 and 2,500 Meters. The target area is sited on (the base!) of St. George’s Hill, just inside Zone V. It is proposed that this area has both hot fluid and locally high permeability.

“Two previous wells that were successfully drilled in 2013/2014 under Phase 1 and 2 which cover the exploratory drilling for the 3rd well, will help to ascertain a suitable configuration for a geothermal plant.”

There are some back ground conditions: “The Government of Montserrat has established a Geothermal Steering Committee to oversee the drilling. The contractor will provide a suitably sized drilling rig, associated equipment and operational personnel. Drilling water supply requirements are estimated at 3,500 litres per minute with backup storage available through a pond at the drilling site.

“All drill fluids will be stored adjacent to the well in a dedicated waterproof concrete structure with a capacity to be determined. The solid component is expected to remain in the concrete tank, capped and disposed at a later date.”

In July 2014, the GoM generated a provisional list of impacts and issues to be assessed in the impact assessment.

  • Impacts on surface water/groundwater.
  • Solid and liquid wastes.
  • Landscape and visual including cultural and archaeological
  • Sociological context (Geography Based Groups & Interested Based Groups)
  • Air quality (noise and vibration)
  • Transport and infrastructure including vegetative clearance for access roads
  • Impacts on fauna and flora including marine life
  • Impacts that may occur due to accidental events
  • Soil and land contamination.
  • Induced landslides.
  • Steam discharge (Temperature/SO²)
  • Accidental spills and overflows

As a matter of information – The GoM has indicated that the following impacts are not expected to be significant:

  • Green House Gas Emissions
  • Atmospheric Heat Pollution
  • Induced seismicity
  • Erosion from Water Discharge
  • Land Acquisition & Land Use Conflicts
  • Economic Disruptions
  • Land take
  • Subsidence/Sinking etc.
  • Induced Landslides

The EIA project team suggest – Residents may also send their comments on the EIA to esales@caribsurf.com.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

geothermal-steaming from Well

geothermal-steaming from Well

by B. Roach

BRADES –(Adapted) A public information evening was due to be held this last evening to provide details on the process of undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in preparation for drilling a third geothermal well.  An EIA is the first stage in the development process which examines potential effects of the project on the surrounding area and local communities.

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Teams of consultants lead by Dr. Erwin Edwards of Atom Solutions are on island this week conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment.

The session was scheduled to be held at the Brades Arts & Education Centre on Thursday from 5.00 P.M. to 7.00 P.M., to give residents an opportunity to share their opinions on the planned project activities. A cross section of government and private stakeholders and the general were invited to attend and make their contributions.

Officials from the Ministry of Communications, Works and Labour said public feedback was an important part of the process.

The Department for International Development has allocated $17.6 million for this phase, which is intended to increase the potential yield of this green energy from 2MW to 5MW. It is hoped that drilling will commence in early 2016.

Atom Solutions Inc., a global energy and technology services provider registered in Barbados carried out an ESIA (Environmental Social Impact Assessment) in September 2012 prior to the beginning of the exploratory drilling of wells in connection with the geothermal development at the base of Weekes and Cork Hill described then as Richmond Hill within the daytime exclusion zone as it was then. That zone has now changed.

Ron Beardsley PWD head at the time explained, “The outcomes from the ESIA will determine if restrictions or mitigation measures are required to minimise the impact on any endangered fauna/flora, wildlife habitats or water sources. It also looks at potential impacts on the public and residents nearby.

He also noted: “Given the location we are not anticipating too many issues. The impact of ash and acid rain has taken its toll on the area and there are no habitable dwellings nearby.”

previous Wells drilling rig

previous Wells drilling rig

Sources say that the acquisition of the lands for the third well drilling is not yet completed, but a previous release said that the drilling will commence early next year. It is now said ‘Completing an Environment Impact Assessment is a critical component in the forward movement of the project.’

And that EIA is to be presented in current circumstances and against some specific c backgrounds.

According some post press information provided, “…it is proposed to proceed directly to the drilling of a production size well rather than smaller pre-production exploration ‘slim holes’ that would then need to be followed by production wells. The drilling of a slim hole before the production wells would only introduce unreasonably delays to what is an already relatively costly development.

“This 3rd well will be drilled to a depth of between 2,000 and 2,500 Meters. The target area is sited on (the base!) of St. George’s Hill, just inside Zone V. It is proposed that this area has both hot fluid and locally high permeability.

“Two previous wells that were successfully drilled in 2013/2014 under Phase 1 and 2 which cover the exploratory drilling for the 3rd well, will help to ascertain a suitable configuration for a geothermal plant.”

There are some back ground conditions: “The Government of Montserrat has established a Geothermal Steering Committee to oversee the drilling. The contractor will provide a suitably sized drilling rig, associated equipment and operational personnel. Drilling water supply requirements are estimated at 3,500 litres per minute with backup storage available through a pond at the drilling site.

“All drill fluids will be stored adjacent to the well in a dedicated waterproof concrete structure with a capacity to be determined. The solid component is expected to remain in the concrete tank, capped and disposed at a later date.”

In July 2014, the GoM generated a provisional list of impacts and issues to be assessed in the impact assessment.

As a matter of information – The GoM has indicated that the following impacts are not expected to be significant:

The EIA project team suggest – Residents may also send their comments on the EIA to esales@caribsurf.com.