(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – On Monday June 4, 2018 the Ministers of Cabinet were briefed on the Geothermal Resource Development Project to inform on what the Government of Saint Lucia (GoSL) needs to action to advance the project to the next phase of exploratory drilling.
This comes mere weeks after Cabinet approval of the National Energy Transitions Strategy (NETS) which provides a guide on the least cost mix of renewable energy options available for Saint Lucia to pursue a sustainable energy future.
Acting Prime Minister Honorable Ezekiel Joseph says the geothermal talks are opportune as countries continue to grapple with sporadic increases in global oil prices.
He says Government is committed to exploring options, which will provide stability in the energy sector and ultimately reduce the cost of energy to consumers.
Tuesday`s briefing updated the Cabinet on the results of the Pre-feasibility Study and the recently conducted Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for exploratory drilling activities in Fond St. Jacques, Belle Plaine and Mondesir-Saltibus.
Environmental and social safeguards are a key component of the project as Government in keen on ensuring that the pursuit of geothermal energy has no adverse effects on the way of life for people in Soufriere and surrounding communities.
The Government of Saint Lucia has also stipulated that investments be made to develop local capacity by training Saint Lucians in key areas to help manage and run the project once successful.
The World Bank and other global partners have made available $22.5M USD in concessional and grant funding for Saint Lucia to embark on the next phase of the project.
World Bank Team Leader Mark Lambrides says Cabinet endorsement is key for the success of the project which is at a critical decision point in its evolution.
The Geothermal Resource Development Project seeks to harness 30 megawatts of energy, making Saint Lucia less dependent on imported fossil fuels, while increasing the countries energy security.
The Government is committed to consulting with stakeholders and keeping the nation informed on the status and progress of the Geothermal Resource Development Project