Categorized | Local

Geothermal Energy, reality in two years

(l) Paul Brophy and (r) Chief Minister Meade

Geophysical survey promises geothermal resource

(l) Paul Brophy and (r) Chief Minister Meade

The Committee for the Redevelopment of Montserrat (CRM) on Thursday night, July 12, 2010 presented Paul Brophy of EGS, Inc. at a ‘town hall meeting’ where he confirmed that he had delivered a report as promised last December to the Government of Montserrat and an Energy Committee that geothermal resource was more than likely to be in the Foxes Bay/Delvins area of Montserrat.

Mr. Brophy confirmed statements he made in December last year to government, CRM and the people of Montserrat, following work his company had conducted to determine, that “there is a viable geothermal resource on the island…”

The EGS Inc. boss said that he had delivered the report to GOM since February this year and that several events had prevented him from speaking to the report until now. He told the CRM meeting at the Brades Art and Cultural centre that all that was left, was the drilling of holes to confirm what he described as the “high probability of a geothermal system”.

Brophy reported that they recommended the next step of drilling an exploratory well that could “actually produce geothermal energy…as a production well…,” while adding that the geothermal resource can be a reality in two to two and a half years.

He spoke privately to The Montserrat Reporter when asked about the next step of drilling and whether or not he thought that Government was excited about the report. “I would think it’s safe to say that it was well received and that people were glad that there was a very high potential for geothermal resource as high as you can say without going overboard…”

He said that with the delivery of the report his contract had ended, but he would be willing to go to the next step of drilling if asked.

The presentation by Mr. Brophy was the culmination of a geothermal evaluation ordered and funded by Department for International Development (DFID) and Government of Montserrat (GOM). This was revealed in a GOM release on July 12, 2009, which said that DFID had, “approved a budget of up to approximately £800,000 to fund a three-phase evaluation process.”

They were: a scoping survey – to define the scope of the further investigations required; Phase 2 – Geophysical, geological and geochemical investigations culminating in recommendations for locations, size and depth for investigatory drilling; and Phase 3 – Small diameter test drilling to attempt to prove the resource.

Following Brophy’s presentation he responded to such questions as to the possible location of the resource among others. CRM afterwards delivered a presentation about their continuing efforts to ensure that the development of geothermal energy in Montserrat. During the meeting, CRM reported that they had learnt that DFID had held back a portion of the budgeted funds. They expressed concern as did some members of the audience, that Chief Minister Reuben Meade had recently been making announcements that the resource would not be available within the next five (5) years.

At a press conference in July CM Meade told the media: “With regard to the overall exploitation and bringing it on line, we do not anticipate that will happen in under five years and hence the reason I did not speak to it within the five year period as the question demanded.”

The Chief Minister has announced that GOM is seeking to obtain a loan of over $30 million to install a new electricity power generating plant. That was the source of much question and discussion. CRM members outlined their pursuit of the development and production of geothermal energy. “…I think that as people who live here, Montserratians everywhere, they have the obligation to assist in its (the island) redevelopment and so the geothermal issue… or the effort to promote the development of the geothermal resource thereby generating cheaper electricity and creating other benefits inclusive of improved quality of light, increased opportunities for employment creation etc.” Jim Bass, CRM chairman said.

The CRM announced the incorporation of the publicly owned company named Montserrat Geothermal Company, registered since July 2007. Mr. Bass said that once the resource is proven, “we are asking and suggesting to Montserratians everywhere that you invest. All of us should have the right to invest in the development ownership and control…” as he revealed that they had received, “hundreds and hundreds” of responses to an earlier invitation to persons at home and abroad to express their interest in investing in the company when the time was right.

(l-r) Julian Romeo, Ray Tyson and Sam Ryhs-Williams

The CRM members in their presentation informed that they had communicated with GOM that MGC could source a complete generating plant for Eighty thousand pounds, approximately EC$350,000. They revealed further that although the engines still housed in Plymouth, may be covered by ash in their buildings, can be refurbished and recommissioned.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Geophysical survey promises geothermal resource

(l) Paul Brophy and (r) Chief Minister Meade

The Committee for the Redevelopment of Montserrat (CRM) on Thursday night, July 12, 2010 presented Paul Brophy of EGS, Inc. at a ‘town hall meeting’ where he confirmed that he had delivered a report as promised last December to the Government of Montserrat and an Energy Committee that geothermal resource was more than likely to be in the Foxes Bay/Delvins area of Montserrat.

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Mr. Brophy confirmed statements he made in December last year to government, CRM and the people of Montserrat, following work his company had conducted to determine, that “there is a viable geothermal resource on the island…”

The EGS Inc. boss said that he had delivered the report to GOM since February this year and that several events had prevented him from speaking to the report until now. He told the CRM meeting at the Brades Art and Cultural centre that all that was left, was the drilling of holes to confirm what he described as the “high probability of a geothermal system”.

Brophy reported that they recommended the next step of drilling an exploratory well that could “actually produce geothermal energy…as a production well…,” while adding that the geothermal resource can be a reality in two to two and a half years.

He spoke privately to The Montserrat Reporter when asked about the next step of drilling and whether or not he thought that Government was excited about the report. “I would think it’s safe to say that it was well received and that people were glad that there was a very high potential for geothermal resource as high as you can say without going overboard…”

He said that with the delivery of the report his contract had ended, but he would be willing to go to the next step of drilling if asked.

The presentation by Mr. Brophy was the culmination of a geothermal evaluation ordered and funded by Department for International Development (DFID) and Government of Montserrat (GOM). This was revealed in a GOM release on July 12, 2009, which said that DFID had, “approved a budget of up to approximately £800,000 to fund a three-phase evaluation process.”

They were: a scoping survey – to define the scope of the further investigations required; Phase 2 – Geophysical, geological and geochemical investigations culminating in recommendations for locations, size and depth for investigatory drilling; and Phase 3 – Small diameter test drilling to attempt to prove the resource.

Following Brophy’s presentation he responded to such questions as to the possible location of the resource among others. CRM afterwards delivered a presentation about their continuing efforts to ensure that the development of geothermal energy in Montserrat. During the meeting, CRM reported that they had learnt that DFID had held back a portion of the budgeted funds. They expressed concern as did some members of the audience, that Chief Minister Reuben Meade had recently been making announcements that the resource would not be available within the next five (5) years.

At a press conference in July CM Meade told the media: “With regard to the overall exploitation and bringing it on line, we do not anticipate that will happen in under five years and hence the reason I did not speak to it within the five year period as the question demanded.”

The Chief Minister has announced that GOM is seeking to obtain a loan of over $30 million to install a new electricity power generating plant. That was the source of much question and discussion. CRM members outlined their pursuit of the development and production of geothermal energy. “…I think that as people who live here, Montserratians everywhere, they have the obligation to assist in its (the island) redevelopment and so the geothermal issue… or the effort to promote the development of the geothermal resource thereby generating cheaper electricity and creating other benefits inclusive of improved quality of light, increased opportunities for employment creation etc.” Jim Bass, CRM chairman said.

The CRM announced the incorporation of the publicly owned company named Montserrat Geothermal Company, registered since July 2007. Mr. Bass said that once the resource is proven, “we are asking and suggesting to Montserratians everywhere that you invest. All of us should have the right to invest in the development ownership and control…” as he revealed that they had received, “hundreds and hundreds” of responses to an earlier invitation to persons at home and abroad to express their interest in investing in the company when the time was right.

(l-r) Julian Romeo, Ray Tyson and Sam Ryhs-Williams

The CRM members in their presentation informed that they had communicated with GOM that MGC could source a complete generating plant for Eighty thousand pounds, approximately EC$350,000. They revealed further that although the engines still housed in Plymouth, may be covered by ash in their buildings, can be refurbished and recommissioned.