Montserrat Government On Full Steam In The Search For Geothermal Energy

BRADES, Montserrat, CMC – The Montserrat government says efforts to determine whether or not there is an abundance of geothermal energy on the island will begin in earnest with the arrival of a drilling rig and other equipment from the Iceland Drilling Company (IDC) on January 29.

Britain, through the Department for International Development (DFID), has already allocated 8.5 million pounds sterling (1 British Pound = US$1.58 cents) for the exploration of geothermal energy on the island.

The government said the drilling and testing phases are expected to take three to four months. It said two wells will be drilled down to a depth of 5,000 feet and that a recent Geothermal Exploration Report done by EGS of California indicated that there was an 80 per cent likelihood of geothermal energy on Montserrat.

Premier Reuben Meade said dredging of the jetty area in Plymouth to accommodate the vessel bringing in the equipment was approved by Cabinet in the national interest and that the two contractors bids including one for three million EC dollars (One EC dollar = US$0.37 cents) had been rejected.

“In the absence of this decision, if the vessel had arrived as scheduled, the demurrage cost for the ship along with associated costs would have been in excess of EC$90,000 per day. It was suggested that retendering would have pushed the works back by over a month which would cost government potentially over one million dollars,” Meade said.