Roseau, Dominica – March 11, 2008……. The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has moved another step closer to developing the country’s geothermal resources as a cheap and reliable source of energy.
At a Media Launch carded for Wednesday, March 12, 2008, at 2.45pm in the Press Room, Minister for Energy, Hon. Charles Savarin and Mr. Paul Mondesire, representative of the Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, will provide information on the commencement of activities under a project intended to make geothermal energy in Dominica a commercial reality.
An important objective of the project is to provide Dominicans with cheaper and renewable electricity and to sell electricity to Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The project is intended to produce the following:
· Measure the size of the geothermal resource and determine its chemical characteristics
· Conduct of a feasibility study on supplying electricity to Martinique and Guadeloupe
· Conduct of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
The Media Launch is also expected to provide more information on Dominica’s successful bid to the European Commission for support to a project titled “Preparation of a geothermal- based cross border electrical interconnection in the Caribbean”. Dominica was the only Caribbean country to have successfully bid under the European Commission’s Energy Facility which was open to all of the seventy-eight countries comprising the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP).
A financing agreement, under which the European Commission will provide Euro 1.5 million, was signed by government in January, 2008. To fully execute the project, which is estimated to cost at least Euro 4 million, the European Commission grant will be supplemented with Euro 500,000 from the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) and Euro 2 million from Fonds Francais pour L’ Environment Mondial (FFEM).
The project will provide assistance for the establishment of a Project Management Unit (PMU) in the Ministry with responsibility for Public Utilities. The unit will oversee the implementation of the project and will identify and develop the statutory and regulatory framework for a geothermal enterprise on Dominica.
The project will last for 24 months. Upon conclusion it will recommend an approach for the establishment of a geothermal energy enterprise. This will include the capital cost and staffing and other requirements of the operation.
National Authorizing Officer of the European Development Fund, Mr. Edward Lambert is also expected to give remarks at the event.