News

Icelandic experience in consideration for St. Kitts/ Nevis project

Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 10 Mar 2009

Raised by an Icelandic expert on the project in Nevis, there are a number of environmental considerations associated with any geothermal exploration, but how the developer managed them would determine the extent to which it would affect the environment.

As reported by the local news services, a geothermal expert from the National Energy Authority of Iceland addressed some concerns for the geothermal projects on Nevis.

The expert from Iceland “said that there were a number of environmental considerations associated with any geothermal exploration, but how the developer managed them would determine the extent to which it would affect the environment.”

Mechanical engineer and geophysicist geothermal specialist, Jonas Ketilsson, who ended his one week visit to Nevis last Friday, told the Department of Information that he had held discussions with the developers West Indies Power (WIP) who outlined a number of steps they had planned to undertake to safeguard the island’s environment. He said they planned to inject the run-off water from the power plant back into the resource so as to protect the island’s costal marine life.

Ketilsson said too there was also the issue of gas emissions from the power plant and pointed to sulphur dioxide, one of the natural by-products of volcanic activity. The developer he explained planned to utilise abatement technology.

Among the other issues he spoke of was the visual effect in relation to the planned cooling towers on the power plant.

In response, government officials stated that “the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) had taken every effort to ensure that the environment was not harmed in anyway by the developmental work of the island’s geothermal resource.” Further the government requires that “an environmental impact assessment study must be conducted by the developer.”

It was also explained that there would be some level of noise associated with the drilling operations as the project progressed, but the public should not be alarmed.

Three slim holes that had already been drilled at Spring Hill, Upper Jessups and Hamilton, were not the holes from which electricity would be generated but instead from production wells which will be drilled later on in the project. Drilling equipment for the production well was a bigger rig which would produce noise.”

Source: Sun St. Kitts/ Nevis