Geothermal Project To Provide Jobs for Nevisians

“Once we got together and we did the geochemistry, the geophysics and the geology, we concluded that Nevis is the place to be today, tomorrow and over the next thousand years.” Those were the words of General Manager of West Indies Power Nevis Limited (WIP) Rawlinson Isaac, during a site visit by top Nevis Island Administration (NIA) officials on June 10, 2008, on the heels of the recent discovery of a geothermal reservoir at Spring Hill.

Premier of Nevis Joseph Parry and Jr. Minister of Energy, Natural Resources and Environment in the NIA Carlisle Powell visited Drill Site Nevis 1 to observe ongoing work done by WIP.

Isaac, along with Chief Executive Officer of WIP Kerry McDonald were on hand to update the officials and answer their questions.

Parry, who was off island when the reservoir was discovered, spoke of his thoughts on the new discovery.

“I was extremely excited because that’s the news I was waiting for. Once I knew that, I know that for the next five – 10 years we are going to really have the revolution in Nevis that we anticipated months ago. People will not believe in the next five years how Nevis has changed and it is just all due to what is happening right here at Spring Hill at the moment,” Parry said.

Jr. Minister Powell spoke of the NIA’s immediate efforts regarding the project.

“Our next moves include negotiating the Power Purchase Agreement with West Indies Power Limited but before that, the presentation of the draft Geothermal Bill in the House of Parliament in Nevis. [We would] have that passed to make sure that there is a bill to look after renewable energy on Nevis and that we have the wherewithal to go forward and negotiate the Power Purchase Agreement,” Minister Powell said.

He also spoke of the negotiating pattern that would be followed.

“We again will have the resources of the Organization of American States (OAS) and we have had the resources of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as well with us and Mr. Kerry and Mr. Isaac will have their own negotiating team but we expect that we will conclude the agreements in a very timely and a very amicable manner,” Powell said.

McDonald spoke of the upcoming construction plans which are expected to commence within the next two months. He also spoke of the job opportunities for Nevisians through this project.

“The Industrial Company (TIC) which is the largest geothermal plant builder in the world has advised us that basically they will be bringing 80 specialists to Nevis, starting in September/October and they will be employing roughly 60 Nevisians on the project. They will be also setting up an apprentice program so that we can get people trained to work in the plant that’s being built and that will basically take us one year,” McDonald said.

He also spoke of the possible potential of the site to produce power for Nevis and other regions.

“Right now we feel we’ve got about enough reserve…at the reservoir right here at Nevis 1, for 150 megawatts of power and we’ve got plenty of interest in buying it,” McDonald said.

This article was originally published by Caribbean Net News and was reprinted with permission.

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