Dominica Begins Geothermal Exploration

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - December 20, 2011

Above: boiling lake in Dominica (Photo: DT)

By Mara Etienne

Following talks of testing Dominica’s geothermal resources to determine its potential energy value for the island and others in the region, the country’s government began an exploratory drilling exercise in Laudat earlier this month.

Earlier this year, the Government of Dominica signed a contract with the Icelandic Government for the drilling of three test wells in the Roseau Valley area.

In November, heavy equipment and machinery for well-logging and testing arrived on the island to facilitate research during the month of December.

“We are indeed very happy to be at this stage with regards to the geothermal prospects for Dominica,” said Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. “I would like to say special thanks to the OAS who really started with us in the initial studies of the geothermal potential of Dominica; and had it not been for that study we would not have been able to take the process forward, because that was certainly a very important pre-requisite to advancing the project.”

The Prime Minister also thanked the French agencies, including the Regional Council of Guadeloupe, for their help on the project.

“It was as if the geothermal potential resided in Guadeloupe rather than in Dominica, because of the passion which President [Victorin] Lurel and his staff have shown in respect to this very important project.”

The test drilling, which is being conducted by Icelandic firm Iceland GeoSurvey, will determine whether or not geothermal resources on the Roseau Valley are suitable for generating signifiant volumes of electricity, along with the feasibility of a proposed underwater transmission to supply to the neighbouring French islands.

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