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France seeking developer and operator for Dominica project

Dominica, Caribbean (source: flickr/ boshamite, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 5 Aug 2013

France is seeking a French developer and operator for the planned 130 MW geothermal power development on Caribbean island state of Dominica.

The ambitious 130 MW geothermal power project in Dominica in the Caribbean continues to make the news. Following news on Electricite de France abandoning the project, the Dominica Prime Minister travelling to Paris to rally for support to continue the project, there is now some movement.

The French Foreign Affairs ministry, so Dominca News, is said to be seeking an operator (developer) for the planned 130 MW geothermal power project that is supposed to export electricity to French territories Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean.

The project has become a “pain”, so a quote from France’s Overseas Minister Victorin Laurel, reported by France Antilles, “since it was abandoned by Electricite de France’s (EdF) which has deemed it unprofitable.

The French government is now seeking a developer and operator for the project that helps get it moving again.

The French Caribbean territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe have been heavily involved in the project over the past five to eight years. “We have put in money, energy and friendship with this country which we consider a brother, Dominica,” he noted.

“This is a good project which cost only EUR 600 million,” Lurel stated adding that it is supported by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the CDC (Caisse des Depots et Consignations), and gave the assurance that France will not abandon it.

“Everything must be done for this project,” he stated.

French Overseas Minister recently met with Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt to “reaffirm his commitment” and obtained additional time to source a French operator which can be contracted for the project.

Independent on the outcome of the planned larger scale geothermal project, AFD has made it clear that it is prepared to finance the construction of a smaller initial 15 MW geothermal plant in Dominica to provide electricity for local consumption and said the French government is still interested in financing a larger plant and in buying electricity from Dominica.

Earlier this year the EdF said it was pulling out of the project, a move which startled partners who were concerned about the implications of such a move.”

Source: Dominica News