Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, during his 2022/23 budget presentation, shared an update on the construction of the geothermal power plant. He stated that generating power from renewable resources creates energy independence and can reduce the impact of the escalation in the price of fossil fuels on the international market.
PM Skerrit asserted that the Government would remain committed to the development of our first geothermal plant in the Roseau Valley.
PM Skerrit outlined the factors of the Geothermal Power plant:
On February 15, 2022, a $33.7 million contract was signed with Iceland Drilling Company; they will drill two additional wells in Laudat towards the end of 2022.
In preparation for the drilling of the wells, a contract was signed with ACE Engineering Limited on April 28, 2021, for $ 8.5 million to prepare the well-pads and access roads. They are nearing completion of the first well pad and access road and have started work on the second well pad.
Once the wells have been drilled and tested, the country will proceed with the construction of the power plant.
The preliminary designs for the power plant have been completed, and the Government will sign the commercial agreements and begin mobilization for the construction of the power plant this year. The construction period is estimated at 18 months. PM Skerrit said that they expect that by 2024 their 10 MW geothermal plant will be online.
“We have also awarded two contracts valued at US$2.5 million for the preparatory work for the development of the transmission network from the Roseau Valley to Fond Cole and from Fond Cole to Sugar Loaf,” said the prime minister.
This transmission network will make it possible to connect the hydro and geothermal power plants from the Roseau Valley to the rest of the country. The lines will be upgraded from the existing 11 kV to 33 kV and 69 kV. The upgraded lines will result in a reduction of line losses and will be built to withstand the impact of a major climate-related event.
This is a significant component of our climate resilience plan for the electricity sector. Geothermal power will eliminate the fuel surcharge currently paid by consumers of electricity. This will result in a significant reduction in the price of electricity for all consumers.
He asserted, “I say to our young people that the investments that we are making in the development of our geothermal resource is for them—a future Dominica with high-paying jobs and careers in the areas of geological sciences, geothermal energy, project management, mechanical, industrial and electrical engineering.”
There will be opportunities for our young entrepreneurs and the private sector to be innovative and develop new businesses in areas such as logistics services, utility management, environmental management and spatial planning, among many others.
Prime Minister further noted that against climate change and economic shocks, against pandemics and resource scarcities, against global market uncertainty and supply chain disruptions, this Government is building our people’s resilience and securing our nation’s sustainable development.