Montserrat Hires Firm for Environmental Assessment of Geothermal Project

Above: Montserrat’s volcano could provide an energy boost for the island

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Barbados-based Atom Solutions has been contracted by the government of Montserrat to conduct an environmental and social impact assessment of the island’s impending geothermal exploration.

The hiring was confirmed by Ron Beardsley, director of public works in the Ministry of Communications & Works.

“Given the location we are not anticipating too many issues,” he said. “The impact of ash and acid rain has taken its toll on the area, and there are no habitable dwellings nearby.”

Once the assessment is completed, Montserrat will then appoint a drilling contractor to drill two exploratory production wells.

Drilling tenders were opened Aug. 31.

“The drilling will take approximately four months and is expected to commence at the turn of the year,” Beardsley said. “We will then test the resource over several months before deciding on the next phase of the project.”

The impact assessment began Wednesday; it is slated to last six weeks.

Montserrat’s government first expressed an interest to explore the potential of geothermal power in February, one of several Caribbean countries to do so, most notably Dominica.