St Kitts government moves to finalise geothermal agreement
BASSETERRE – Minister of Public Infrastructure with responsibility for Energy, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, said that the Team Unity Administration is “committed to investing in alternative energy, pursuing geothermal energy production, completing the wind farm (and) supporting solar farm development.”
Speaking in Parliament on February 16, two years after the Government of National Unity assumed political office, Minister Liburd said that alternative energy must be the energy choice of a future St Kitts and Nevis.
“Given our many challenges, we also felt that it would be irresponsible of us as a government if we did not establish whether there was a geothermal resource here on St Kitts and if so determine how best to develop that resource without retarding the progress on Nevis . . . ,” he said.
Liburd said the government took a deliberate approach in facing the major energy challenges and took steps to ensure that renewable energy played a critical role in the sustainable development and economic growth of the twin-island federation”.
“We decided to transform to a more sustainable mix, and energy security is therefore a requirement,” while making reference to the United States Former Secretary of State, John Kerry, who is credited with saying that energy is the market of the future.”
Minister Liburd added: “I opine that we in St Kitts and Nevis say that the energy sector is the future so we took a three-pronged approach—we updated our energy policy and legislative framework for the adoption of alternative energy to build a more competitive private sector and improve energy security for households. We established an energy unit in the ministry.”
He said that as of February 1, 2017, there was a new director of energy within his ministry.
In September 2015, Minister Liburd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Teranov, a French engineering and services company for new and renewable energy based in Guadeloupe. The MOU included a road map that could possibly see the production of geothermal energy in 2020.
Teranov began geothermal exploration exercises in the Sandy Point area around Brimstone Hill, going to the top of Mount Liamigua in late 2015.
Five geoscientists were in St Kitts conducting feasibility studies in geophysics, geology and geochemistry. President of Teranov, Jacques Chouraki, said at the time that the prospects for geothermal energy on St Kitts were promising.
Minister Liburd has now confirmed that after the feasibility studies, there is a geothermal resource on St Kitts. (SKNIS)