Roseau, Dominica – March 19, 2008……. With the price of crude oil at a staggering US $109 a barrel and rising, Dominica’s Minister for Energy, Hon. Charles Savarin believes that “what oil and natural gas have done for Petroleum exporting countries, geothermal energy can do for Dominica”.
Hon. Charles Savarin made that announcement recently at the Media Launch of a project entitled,” Preparation of a Geothermal-based Cross-Border Electrical Interconnection in the Caribbean”.
The Minister stated further that “potentially the development of the geothermal resources of Dominica could become the single most important economic activity on the island for decades to come”.
Minister Savarin also pointed out that geothermal energy can reduce the cost of electricity by over 50%, “thus transforming Dominica from the OECS State with the highest cost of electricity to the OECS State with the lowest unit cost of electricity and all that implies for business and economic activity generally”.
The objectives of the project “Preparation of a Geothermal-based Cross-Border Electrical Interconnection in the Caribbean are four-fold:
· It will produce geophysical and scientific data on Dominica’s geothermal resources that will be sufficient to determine the commercial and physical viability of the resource
· The project will undertake a feasibility study of an electrical interconnection network between Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique
· The project will prepare the physical and institutional infrastructure that will be necessary to enter into Power Purchase Partnerships and Agreements for geothermal electricity production in Dominica
· The project will set the stage for commercialization which will assist in the reduction in the cost of electricity to the Dominican consumers, and allow for cross-border transmission to the neighbouring islands
The Project cost is 4 million euros. It is being undertaken under the auspices of the European Commission, with counterpart funding by the Agence Francais de Developpement (AFD) and the Fonds Francais pour L’ Environnement Mondial (FFEM).
This Project builds on a wider programme for the development of Dominica’s geothermal resources, which also includes the efforts of the OAS, the GEF, CARICOM, the Regional Councils of Martinique and Guadeloupe and French development agencies like ADEME and BRGM.
Other addresses at the Media launch were also delivered by Mr. Paul Mondesire of the Office of the European Union Delegation, Bridgetown, Barbados and National Authorising Officer of the European Development Fund, Mr. Edward Lambert.