Dominica Forced to Revisit Designs and Financial Plans for Planned Geothermal Project

Dominica geothermal project site, Caribbean (source: Nixon George, Quick Link Productions via Dominica GDC)


With bids for the construction of a geothermal power plant significantly higher than estimated, the Caribbean island state of Domininca will have to revisit the designs for the plant.


Local news report from Dominica in the Caribbean report that the geothermal power project planned in Laudat is facing some roadblock. Following a tender for the construction of a power plant as part of the project in September 2019, the project had received three valid bids.


The challenge faced now is that all bids were significantly higher than the estimates for the costs of the construction of the plant, according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.


The project had secured sufficient funds based on the estimates from sources such as the World Bank, the European Union, SIDS DOCK, yet the bids were higher and are beyond the available funds secured so far.


Discussions are ongoing, yet include a possible termination of the tender and a revisit of the plant designs. Part of the discussion is the positioning of the required re-injection well. During an address last week, the Prime Minister promised to provide details as soon as options on how to approach the situation have been determined.


In 2019, the government had indicated having sufficient funds for the project’s development and construction of the geothermal plant in the Roseau Valley. The project is led by Dominica Geothermal Development Company Ltd. So far over $50 million has been invested in the project since its inception in 2011.


Drilling was officially concluded in 2015 entering the stage for the development of a power plant on site. Back then there were discussions with a joint venture with French investors that would have seen the export from the plant to Guadeloupe and Martinique, French territories in the Caribbean. In 2016, the government decided to remain in control of the project via a solely government-owned company. It also committed to $15 million in investment through the Citizenship by Investment Programme. In 2016, Dominica and New Zealand signed a partnership agreement for the planned 7 MW geothermal power plant.