Developer to appeal ruling on Nevis project

Drilling Rig 12 of PRMD West Indies (source: West Indies Power)
Alexander Richter 21 Jan 2013

Following a court ruling, developer West Indies Power is seeking an appeal over the government taking away its geothermal contract on Nevis, Caribbean.

Before the weekend, the government of Nevis in the Caribbean made the announcement that it “is now free to pursue the development of geothermal energy by its own means”. This follows a High Court ruling that give the government the right to do so.

This – so the government – is due to West Indies Power, the developer of the project, not being able to fulfill the agreement to do so. West Indies Power was granted an exploration license in 2007 and in April 2009 a geothermal contract with a PPA was agreed on.

Now the Prime Minister announces that ““… the Court ruled that West Indies Power was in no position to meet its obligations”, and that this “means that because of that ruling the Government is in a position to end its arrangement with West Indies Power and to develop geothermal power itself and this is what the government is placing itself in a position to do,” he said.

The prime minister Joseph Parry expressed satisfaction with the Court’s ruling on the matter and informed that the Administration had already attracted other parties interested in the development of renewable energy on the island.

“I am very pleased with the Court’s ruling and I want to tell the people of Nevis that the Import Export Bank and other parties are interested in working with us. So we are now free to move forward with the development of geothermal power,” he said.

This was followed by a press release by West Indies Power on Saturday. In it West Indies Power states that it does not consider the contract being cancelled. West Indies Power is filing an appeal to the ruling. West Indies Power, so the statement, “is in a position to meet its oblibations and has always upheald its side of the contract signed with the Nevis Administration”.

The company has done exploration work, proving the resource on Nevis at a cost of $10 million. West Indies Power considers not having been able to proceed due to obstacles that the island’s administration had put in its way.

It will be interesting to follow up the developments, but clearly in a small environment like this, a lack in support of a local government does not make things easier.

Source: West Indies Power release (Jan 19, 2013) via email and SKNVibes