Dominica’s geothermal energy development project has been in the making for some time now.
More recently the government of Prime Minster Roosevelt Skerrit has advanced the development of the project with a significant injection funds into the exploration and determination of the location, volume and quality of the resource. It is now a well-established fact that Dominica possesses tremendous amount geothermal resources that can be tapped into and deliver a cheaper and regular supply of energy to the Dominican people.
In its expansion phase government hope to be able to sell power to the neighboring French islands. The geothermal development project took center stage in a weekly radio discussion “Focus on Government and Development” on Thursday 8 March 2018.
His Excellency, Ambassador Dr. Vince Henderson spoke to the issue and assured the Dominican people that the project is well on its way and will soon become a reality.
He explained that Hurricane Maria in September 2017 disturbed the planned schedule for the project; the social impact assessment study which was completed before the hurricane had to be revisited in keeping with the new reality of life in the project area post Hurricane Maria.
The process was thus interrupted and so a new schedule for completing the review is April 2018. Thereafter the findings will be reviewed by officials of the World Bank.
It is the hope that once the findings of the social impact assessment are accepted the project can then move into the construction phase at which point the process for awarding a contract to construct the plant will move into high gear.
Thereafter it is expected that a contract for the actual physical works to construct the power plant could awarded in late 2019.
Ambassador Dr. Henderson added an important note; all funding for advancing the project in excess of US $30 million has been secured.
The funding he said will come from various sources to include the World Bank (US$17.5 million at 0.75% interest with a ten years grace period), the governments of the United Kingdom (US $10 million) and New Zealand (US $2 Million), the government of Dominica (US $2.57 million) and the SIDS DOCK, an initiative of member countries of the Small Island Developing States (US $2 million).
According to Ambassador Dr. Henderson, all things considered, electricity generated from geothermal energy will be available for sale to DOMLEC’s national grid in early 2020.