(NIA) Charlestown Nevis —The Nevis Renewable Energy International Company, a consortium of companies,has been selected to carry out geothermal development on Nevis. The company headed by Mr. Thomas Drolet, was among three companies which had submitted bids to the Nevis Island Administration for its geothermal project on Nevis.
The announcement came at a press conference hosted by Senior Minister responsible for Renewable Energy and the Environment Hon. Alexis Jeffersat the Ministry of Finance conference room in Charlestown on November 21, 2013. He was accompanied by his Junior Minister Hon. Troy Liburd and Acting Premier of Nevis Hon. Mark Brantley. Minister Jeffers noted that the final selection was made after the Administration has done its due diligence.
“We were looking for the company that had the technical ability and the financial ability to deliver this project to the people of Nevis and I think that we would have done a good job of selecting this particular company…
“We have gone through the process of selection and have finalized our selection and we want to let you know that out of the three companies that were eventual bidders, we have selected the Nevis Renewable Energy International Company,” he said.
Mr. Jeffers noted that the Administration was satisfied that the company was capable of delivering geothermal energy to Nevis within three years.
“It is a company that is made up of various consortiums and I must lay the ground work on that and let you know that there isn’t any one company that is out there that is developing geothermal.It is normally a consortium of companies which brings their expertise and their abilities together whether financially, technically or otherwise.
“We do believe that this company has the necessary capacity to deliver geothermal to us as they claim within 36 months of starting to drill, to production and eventually to us realizing the benefit of cheaper and more reliable energy here on the island of Nevis,” he said.
However, Mr. Jeffers noted that contractual arrangements had not yet been discussed but the developers were expected on island in the first week in December to commence negotiations.
“Starting on the 1st or 2nd of December or that particular week we will be engaging that successful bidder in terms of sitting down and finalizing Power Purchase Agreements and the details of those contracts and what the people of Nevis will be getting out of this particular project in terms of what stake we will be having in it,” he said.
According to Mr. Jeffers, the President of Nevis Renewable Energy International will be accompanied by Chief Technical Officer Mr. Bruce Cutright and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Domenic Falcone.
In response to how soon the Nevisian public would see actual movement on the ground, the Minister noted that it would most likely come in the first part of 2014.
“I believe those discussions…should be wrapped up by the end of that week [first week in December]. Hopefully, in the beginning of the New Year late January, February, after we would have done all of the necessary negotiations and announcements and so forth [so] by late January – early February, we should see some work on the ground.
“The company is eager to start. We are eager to get this thing going as well because every minute will count and every hour will count moving forward. So once we have that phase taken care of, that process taken care of, of PPA and contracts and so forth, it is time to move forward with the project. I believe very early in the New Year we should see some work being done,” he said.
The Renewable Energy Minister also used the opportunity to thank the United States of America for its assistance which, he said, helped the NIA over the past nine months with its geothermal development thrust.
“Anne Shpitsberg is the Global Power Sector Manager at the office of Energy Programme and Bureau of Energy Resource at the US State Department, that is in the United States, and she has given us some invaluable assistance and service as we took our steps forward with this all valuable project.
“She was the person who actually came on board and brought others with her… The reason why we engaged the US State Department is because we felt that if we were going to move forward in a transparent way and have the engagement of the United States in some way, because this project is also important in the United States. They also pushed towards ensuring that countries such as ours become 100 percent reliant in renewable energy,” he said.
He said the help received from the United States of America was invaluable in avoiding some of the mistakes that were done under the past Administration.
“Of course we know the cost of fossil fuel keeps increasing everyday; of course I did mention the cleanliness and reliability of renewable energy, so the United States Department is engaged and they would have given us some invaluable help and contribution towards making this process possible.
“I also want to say that with their help we were able to eliminate some of the controversies and some of the pitfalls that would have been encountered by the previous NRP Administration.