April 11, 2023 — The OECS Geothermal Energy: Capacity Building for Utilisation, Investment and Local Development (OECS-GEOBUILD) Programme, in collaboration with the Dominica Geothermal Development Company Limited (DGDC), hosted a Study Tour in Dominica from April 3 – 5, 2023. The tour, led by OECS Project Manager, Dr. Ernie Stapleton, is in keeping with the mandate of GEOBUILD to provide specialised advisory support, analyses and capacity building for geothermal energy development based on critical needs to advance relevant project initiatives in beneficiary countries. The objectives of the study tour were to:
- Obtain a practical understanding of delivering a drilling programme in the Eastern Caribbean, including preparation activities, civil works requirements, public awareness and information, and safety and environmental safeguards;
- Identify lessons learned by the Dominica Drilling Team for the implementation of the geothermal exploration and drilling phase; and
- Foster regional cooperation and collaboration within the OECS on geothermal energy.
Beneficiary Member States of the Study Tour include Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Kitts and Nevis. A Town Hall meeting was conducted in Laudat, Dominica on April 3, where the current geothermal development activities are taking place. A detailed presentation was made on April 4 on the Roseau Valley Geothermal Development Project, which was followed by a tour led by the DGDC team to the sites of three Production Wells, and the drilling site for a Reinjection Well. Participants had the opportunity to observe the preparation for the Flow Test of one of the Production Wells RV-P2, which was drilled in 2022, with a total drilling depth of 1378 meters. On the final day of the Study Tour, they further engaged key members of the DGDC team for discussions on the outcomes of the exploration and drilling programme in Dominica.
GEOBUILD is designed to respond to the needs of participating OECS Member States for advancing geothermal energy development. The project will facilitate collaboration on geothermal energy not only with the beneficiary countries, but also with other Member States of the region that have an interest in exploring geothermal resources. The interventions have been designed to address the gaps and requests identified and presented by the key geothermal actors at various consultations at the regional level. The project is consistent with the overall aim of the OECS to promote cooperation among the Member States at the regional and international levels. GEOBUILD is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) with a grant of US$3.1 Million with funding support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Union Caribbean Investment Facility.
This project aims to contribute to the efforts of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the OECS Commission to advance geothermal energy development in the OECS, and by extension, the Caribbean, by addressing the challenges of limited capacities of human resources, institutions, and regulatory frameworks for geothermal energy development. Furthermore, the project will address the need for increased trained personnel, improved regulatory processes, and strengthened institutions to support and facilitate the scientific and managerial aspects of geothermal management in the OECS. The project will also coordinate and support improved use of existing geothermal capacity in the region. GEOBUILD will directly benefit the five eligible OECS Member States, namely:
- The Commonwealth of Dominica
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia, and
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The OECS Commission would like to express sincerest thanks and appreciation to the Dominica Geothermal Development Company Limited and the Government of Dominica for their tremendous support and collaboration in making the Study Tour a success.