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Nevis geothermal project might get funding from Caribbean Development Bank

Nevis Volcano, Nevis & St. Kitts (source: flickr/ Stuck in Customs, creative commons)
Francisco Rojas Francisco Rojas 3 Apr 2015

The president of Caribbean Development Bank said his banking facility is ready and willing to assist Nevis with its geothermal project.

Local Caribbean news are giving some new clues on the development of the Nevis geothermal project.

According to a local newspaper, Dr. William Warren Smith, president of Caribbean Development Bank, said his banking facility is ready and willing to assist Nevis with its geothermal project.

In an exclusive interview with The Observer at a Caribbean Media Conference held in Barbados, Dr. Smith responded to a question about funding for the geothermal project by saying, “I had a discussion with Premier Amory some time ago and indicated to him that we are definitely interested in being a part of the geothermal development. Our team from our renewable energy and energy efficiency unit has set Nevis very much in our site for that development.”

Smith said geothermal financing is the subject of discussion between his bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank. According to Smith, CDB signed a memorandum with the Japanese Aid Agency and InterAmerican Development Bank to have appropriate priced resources to meet the requirements of geothermal development.

When asked about the level of involvement that CDB is willing to meet, he responded, “We have the resources to enable the project to do the exploration phase, technical assistance to design the project and build the power plant and the related facilities that will necessitate the movement from production to delivery of electricity to customers.”

The Observer contacted Premier of Nevis the Hon. Vance W Amory for a response to the bank president’s remarks. Mr. Amory said, ” This would be a great indication of this institution that it is serious about the development of renewable energy in the Caribbean Region as part of its mandate to assist in areas that will assist member borrowing countries to deal with and manage the challenges they face in providing sustainable economic activity for their people.

The development of renewable sources of energy is one avenue that can assist in the achievement of this objective,.”

Nevis Island Administration Led by the Nevis Reformation Party signed an agreement to explore geothermal energy with West Indies Power on April 20 ,2009. WIPN acquired the rights to develop geothermal on Nevis. In 2012, the NIA took WIPN to court after alleging the company had invalidated the contract because it could not pay its debts to other companies. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court ruled that NIA had the legal right to terminate the contract. NIA cancelled the contract in January 2013, causing WIPN to immediately file an appeal.

On June 30, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal granted the NIA’s application to strike out the appeal filed by West Indies Power (Nevis) limited (WIPN) in July of 2013. NIA and Nevis Renewable Energy International announced the successful completion and signing of a concession agreement on Sept. 3, 2014. This is a key step forward to bringing geothermal energy to Nevis, sources said. No other announcements have been made on advancing the energy project in Nevis since then.

Source: St. Kitts and Nevis Observer