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St. Vincent & the Grenadines geothermal project exploring closed-loop approach

Drilling rig on site at La Soufriere, St. Vincent, Caribbean (source: Stv Online)
Alexander Richter 24 Aug 2020

With low permeability of drilled wells for the geothermal project at St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, the developer is now looking to save the project exploring a closed-loop option.

As previously reported, the geothermal project on St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean has been facing challenges related to the permeability of the resource tapped by the wells drilled.

While the project has discovered sufficient heat, the flow rates of the wells drilled are not sufficient for making the project economically viable, so Ellsworth Dacon, Project Director of the project to local news.

“The results weren’t as expected. We got permeability, but not sufficient enough for it to be commercially viable,” Dacon said. While there is undoubtedly a geothermal source at Bamboo Range, the inadequacy of the permeability of the rocks means that the heat cannot pass through the rocks at the needed rate.

This though does not mean that one will abandon the project, yet needs to look at other options how to utilise the heat found and tapped by the wells drilled.  “We are looking at some closed loop systems and speaking to three companies so we will see how it goes,” Dacon said.

With a closed-loop system the project could tap the heat and this without sufficient water tapped.

The geothermal project on St. Vincent & the Grenadines has spent over US$ 35 million since the start in 2012, with around US$700k from the government, US$ 29 million in grant funding and $7 million in funding from private equity,.

Naturally, there is a certain disappointment in the project not achieving it was set out to do, yet there is still a chance to continue the project, which now needs to be evaluated.  The project today employs 15 individuals on site as security, the project manager and a team member from Reykjavik Geothermal.

Drilling equipment has been moved from the site and is being shipped overseas.

The exploratory drilling was done under the direction of the St Vincent Geothermal Company Limited, which is owned by the Icelandic company Reykjavik Geothermal and the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Source: Searchlight