The next step for Dominica’s renowned geothermal plant project is expected to begin within this financial year.
So far one production well and two reinjection wells have been established.
The Hon. Finance Minister told the nation in his budget address that in the meantime, the legal framework is being developed.
He said, “Within the next two months, we expect to conclude negotiations with a French investment consortium, who are partnering with us in a joint venture, to build and operate the domestic plant, and the plant to export electricity to Guadeloupe and Martinique.
“The Geothermal Development Bill, a critical piece of legislation to facilitate investment in geothermal energy, has been drafted and will be tabled in Parliament by the end of September. Funding has been identified for the construction of the domestic plant. Both the World Bank and the Agence Francaise de Developpment (AFD) have offered financing under highly concessional terms and discussions in that regard are ongoing.”
With that announcement, the Hon. Prime Minister revealed that the island is positioned to get the best deal to finance the domestic plant.
“The World Bank came here to Dominica to offer us money to finance the small plant. There was a presentation to Cabinet but we have a situation where the AFD is also offering us money to finance thus plant. So we have held back our application the World Bank and we are negotiating for best terms possible to borrow this money. I believe that in the next few weeks, we’ll be in a position to determine whether we’ll go with the World Bank or the AFD based on the best lending terms. At the end of the day, that will play important role in the cost of the plants and the resultant cost of energy to the consumers in Dominica.”
He added that were it not for the ongoing negotiations with the two firms, Government would have been more advanced in the development of the domestic plant.
Construction on the plant should begin in 2016 and commissioned on completion in 2018.