Roseau, Dominica … November 07, 2008………Minister for Public Utilities, Energy and Ports, Hon. Charles Savarin, on November 07, 2008, signed three (3) financing agreements for a 4 million euro grant, with the Agence Francaise de Developpment (AFD) and the Fonds Francais pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), for the further development of the geothermal energy project in the Wotten Waven area of Dominica.
The AFD will provide a total of 1.5 million euros under its export assistance programme – PRCC (Programme de Renforcement des Capacites Commerciales) and 500,000 euros under its technical assistance and studies programme, FERC (Fonds d’Etudes et de Renforcement des Capacites). The Fonds Francais pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), will contribute 2 million euros, which will be used to create the research and feasibility studies required under the project.
In December 2007, the Government of Dominica, through the National Authorizing Office, signed a financing agreement with the European Commission, who committed an amount of 1.5 million euros towards the Geothermal Energy Development programme. These funds are combined with the funds committed by the AFD and the FFEM to total five million, five hundred thousand (5,500,000) euros.
Activities under this multi-donor financed “European Union” led geothermal resource development project are set to begin immediately following the conclusion of the research activities under the INTERREG III B, which is currently in progress, and which are due for completion at end of November 2008.
The combination of funds is to be applied to activities in respect of the wider geothermal energy development project as follows:
The funds allocated by the European Commission shall be applied to the characterization of the geothermal resource in the Wotten Waven resource area, and in particular to the test drilling activities.
The funds allocated by the AFD-PRCC (Trade and Capacity Building Programme) shall be applied to the completion of the identification of the geothermal resources at the Wotten Waven site; carrying out additional prior studies for the construction of the geothermal plant and electrical interconnection with Guadeloupe and Martinique; and the preparation of the structure of the public-private partnership for the development of the project, and launch the call for tenders for the selection of the concessionaire.
The funds allocated by the AFD- FERC (Fonds d’Etudes et de Renforcement des Capacites) shall be applied to expert services and capacity building in respect of technical and feasibility studies and expert services for project identification, project feasibility, and sectoral or institutional studies; financing of resident technical assistance in charge of the identification or preparation of the financing of the AFD in the sectors of concentration; and studies and periodic on-site technical assistance on other related matters.
The funds allocated by the FFEM shall be applied to complete the identification of the geothermal resource at the Wotten Waven site; carrying out detailed technical and economic studies necessary to determine the appropriate size, and in respect of the construction of the plant and electrical interconnection with Guadeloupe and Martinique; and preparing the partnership mechanism of the public-private partnership for the development of the project and launch of the call for tenders for the concessionaire.
Mr. Jean-Christophe Pecresse, Deputy Director of the AFD signed the grant financing agreements on behalf of the AFD and the FFEM.
Her Excellency Michele Sauteraud, Ambassador of France to the OECS attended the signing ceremony.