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Posted: Tuesday 10 February, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Federal Government to support NIA geothermal energy project

St. Kitts-Nevis OAS Representative Starett Greene
By: Melissa Bryant, SKNVibes

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE government of St. Kitts and Nevis has agreed to provide support for the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) in its attempts to procure funding for its geothermal energy project.


    According to Monday’s (Feb. 9) Post-Cabinet Briefing, the agreement was one of the outcomes of a meeting between Minister of Public Utilities the Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin and NIA Minister of State with responsibility for the geothermal energy project, Hon. Carlisle Powell.


    In his update to Cabinet, Dr. Martin revealed that the meeting had taken place earlier that day. He said his ministry had signed a letter of intent to purchase geothermal electricity from Nevis when full development of the project would have been completed in 2010.


    The Minister also revealed that an agreement was signed in principle for the Federal government to provide support in approaching multilateral funding agencies to seek financial assistance to have an undersea electrical cable run between Nevis and St. Kitts.


    He further stated that he had already begun speaking with representatives from the Organisation of American States (OAS) with a view to having the regional body assist in making the necessary arrangements for local government officials to meet with multilateral funding agencies to move the geothermal project forward.


    Minister Martin emphasised that renewable energy solutions, both geothermal and wind, are a critical component of his ministry’s efforts to lower the cost of electricity to consumers and usher in energy independence for the people of the Federation. He noted that his ministry’s vision would soon be clearly articulated in a public document.


    St. Kitts-Nevis OAS Representative Starett Greene confirmed that Martin had approached his organisation. He noted the need for substantial investment in the project in order for it to be advanced, stating that it [project] was at a “crucial stage”.


    “We have started speaking to stakeholders about the need to procure these funds. The drilling has begun and it is now time to invest into getting that energy out of the ground.


    “The OAS, through its department of sustainable development, is now thinking the time is right to seek outside funding and to approach international institutions, such as the World Bank through its Global Environment Facility, to try to secure the requisite financial resources to input into the development of geothermal energy,” Greene said.


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