Energy minister sees no role for West Indies Power in geothermal development on Nevis

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By Andre Huie

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis (WINN) — Go away! That’s the message Nevis energy minister Alexis Jeffers has for West Indies Power CEO Kerry McDonald.

The company announced recently that it is taking legal action against the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) for what it terms an illegal awarding of a concession to develop geothermal on the island to the Nevis Renewable Energy International (NREI).

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Nevis Energy Minister Alexis Jeffers

“I would simply want to say to Kerry McDonald and West Indies Power; they just need to go away," Jeffers said.

"The NRP (Nevis Reformation Party) in government would have made a decision — a unilateral decision to give a contract to West Indies Power to develop the geothermal resource on Nevis. There was no RFP that was ever done. An RFP was a request for a proposal. There was no due diligence that was done. Nothing of that sort was done, so it means then if you start wrong, you are going to end up wrong,” he told WINN FM.

“We’ve seen so many pitfalls with geothermal at this point in time. When they entered into this contract with West Indies Power, we knew West Indies Power had no money, they had no expertise, they had no ‘know how,’ they had nothing going for them at that point in time but we were promised geothermal on numerous occasions,” he asserted.

Jeffers argues that the contract with West Indies Power is null and void due to a court ruling last year.

That ruling indicated that the company does not have the financial means to complete the project thus nullifying the contract with the NIA. The company has since disputed this charge and has appealed the ruling. This however is no concern to the energy minister.

“The court would have terminated that contract. They appealed and after many non-compliance on their part a final decision was made… where their appeal was thrown out and ordered to pay costs,” Jeffers said.

“If they have any grounds to appeal that decision or to take it further that is their right… this resource that we are hoping to develop for the people of Nevis… we will go ahead and we are moving ahead, and as far as I am concerned, nowhere on our path do we see West Indies Power and Kerry McDonald,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, Jeffers said he will have an announcement to make on geothermal development soon and is awaiting the arrival of officials from NREI to provide that update.

McDonald has instructed lawyers to begin legal action against the NIA to challenge its ‘illegal action’, as well as seek damages against the NIA for those actions.

The company has said it will continue to defend its contractual rights to develop geothermal resources on Nevis.

Republished with permission of West Indies News Network

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