Geothermal production in Nevis stalled

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Recent preliminary works at the site of the geothermal renewable energy project at Upper Hamilton Estate (file photo)

By LK Hewlett

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis (WINN) — The Nevis Island Administration says the geothermal project on the island remains stalled as they continue to try to find means to fund the production of the renewable energy.

Premier Mark Brantley, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, said some $50 to $60 million would need to move the project forward.

“I think that at this stage all of us know that what we’ve been waiting on is for production of the energy and that would require the necessary investment to drill the production wells and to build the plant and to do tie into the connectivity between the plant and NEVLEC so that NEVLEC can transmit the power. That is what has proven most difficult because we’ve had the resources raised to do the exploration, the exploration is done everything has been nicely packaged, it’s just for the production. The developers have had difficulty raising those monies.

“They have brought in recent months Black Rock Securities, which they say is going to provide some equity financing and OPIC … which is an arm of the United States government, which is supposed to provide some debt financing. If we had the money we would do it ourselves, to be honest cause then we would only have to hire experts but it would be something that we do as a project but the problem is the funding,” he said.

The premier said two sources for financing have been identified but that process might take several months to materialize, if at all.

“The last that I’ve heard is that OPIC has okayed their side of things to do the financing for the project on the debt side but I’m not sure what the result of the Black Rock due diligence is going to be. Each of those entities takes between three to six months to do their due diligence and so that process has been an ongoing process. We have had visits from both OPIC and Black Rock Securities I believe they were all here towards the middle of this year and so we await final word,” he said.

Brantley assured that the NIA remains committed to bringing geothermal on stream for the benefit of the people of Nevis and the rest of the federation.

Republished with permission of West Indies News Network

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