Roseau, Dominica – July 31, 2008………Dominican consumers can now look forward to lower electricity bills and existing and new businesses now face the prospect of reduced energy costs as the result of the granting of a licence to West Indies Power Dominica Limited(WIPD) for the purpose of developing the country’s geothermal energy resources in the Soufriere/ Scotts Head area.
The signing of an agreement between the Government of Dominica and West Indies Power Dominica Limited took place at the Fort Young Hotel on Thursday, July 24, 2008.
In his remarks at the signing ceremony, Manager Director of the National Bank of Dominica and Chairman of West Indies Power Holdings BV, Mr. Gregory de Gannes said: “Hon. Prime Minister, I want to assure you of two things on behalf of the Board of Directors of West Indies Power Holdings. Firstly, today marks the start of an historic and soon to be beneficial joint venture between your government and the people of Dominica and West Indies Power Holdings BV.
“And secondly that the benefits to be derived from this relationship will significantly change the economic dynamics of Dominica, not only from the point of view of significantly reducing the cost of electricity for all consumers but will also act as a catalyst for the expansion of the economy in areas such as manufacturing, agriculture and aquaculture to name but a few…”
According to Mr. Dmitrijus Apockinas, Chief Financial Officer of West Indies Power Dominica Limited, Phase One (exploration phase) will involve geochemical, geological and geophysical surveys to identify the geothermal fields and estimate the potential of the resources available in the south of the island. The estimated time for this phase is approximately eighteen months.
The exploration phase will cost some $11 million ECD and is to be funded by the private capital of West Indies Power Holdings (BV), parent company of West Indies Power Dominica Limited.
The next phase will see the construction of a 15 megawatt plant which should be completed in 12-16 months after the exploration phase has finished. The cost of construction of the plant has been put at $120 million ECD and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.
Mr. Apockinas also stated that the State of Dominica will receive 10 percent equity stake in West Indies Power Dominica Limited. This stake will allow Dominica to receive dividends. Dominica will also receive annual royalties of 3 percent on the domestic supply and 5 percent on export of the gross sales power including carbon credits.
Also in attendance at the signing ceremony were Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, acting Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Ambrose George as well as other members of Cabinet.
West Indies Power Holdings BV is a St. Maarteen registered company formed in 2001. The company says it has already identified the geothermal resource in the Caribbean island of Nevis and hopes to supply St. Kitts and Nevis by the end of 2009.