Feasibility study proves geothermal potential of St. Kitts and Nevis

 March 27, 2017 @ 3:43 pm   
At the meeting, from left Mr. Joseph Williams; Dr. Devon Gardner; Dr. Vince Henderson; Hon. Ian Patches Liburd; Mr. Jacques Chouraki
At the meeting, from left Mr. Joseph Williams; Dr. Devon Gardner; Dr. Vince Henderson; Hon. Ian Patches Liburd; Mr. Jacques Chouraki (Photo via SKNIS)

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 24, 2017 (SKNIS): A feasibility study done by Teranov, a French engineering and services company for new and renewable energy based in Guadeloupe, has proven that there is potential in St. Kitts to develop at least 18 to 36 megawatts of geothermal power.

Speaking at the conclusion of a two day meeting of geothermal stakeholders, which was held at the Ministry of Finance Conference Room in St. Kitts from March 21- 22, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, hailed the findings as “heartening” but that the government is to consider the way forward.

Minister Liburd said that the meeting was convened with other stakeholder representatives including His Excellency Dr. Vince Henderson, Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the United States; Jacques Chouraki, President of Teranov; Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Manager for Energy at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat; Joseph Williams, Sustainable Energy Advisor at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); representatives from the St. Kitts Electricity Company Ltd (SKELEC), Ministry of Finance, Office of the Attorney General, and private sector “as it relates to solidifying our roadmap in respect of our geothermal development here on St. Kitts and in Nevis with particular focus on the development on St. Kitts.”

“We have so far done the 3G studies—the geological, geophysical and geochemical studies or the surface studies…there is potential on St. Kitts to develop at least 18 to 36 megawatts of geothermal power and that’s heartening for us here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Minister Liburd, while indicating that the next step is to consider the way forward for slim-hole and exploration drilling.

Geothermal Stakeholders Meeting  in St. Kitts and Nevis (Photo via SKNIS)
Geothermal Stakeholders Meeting in St. Kitts and Nevis (Photo via SKNIS)

Minister Liburd said that the government received a draft geothermal agreement from its partners for which Cabinet decided that there should be an independent review. According to the minister, the government consulted with the CARICOM and the CDB.

“Where we are right now in terms of the next steps, next set of actions and timelines, we have agreed today that we would restructure the geothermal agreement and we have put a timeline on that to be completed by the end of June this year. We also have agreement in terms of the provision of a business plan and financial model from Teranov. We would in terms of the joint venture company arrangements consider the shareholder agreement issues that deal with decision-making; and the commercial issues are key business points in some reform and indeed we did agree on the way forward as it relates to…development of this resource on St. Kitts,” Minister Liburd said.

He said it was necessary to have further discussions because any agreement signed off on has to bear in mind that government owns the land, the utility called SKELEC and the government will own the resource.

Minister Liburd said that whatever comes out of the agreement has to “ensure we protect the best public interest” and “there must be real benefit for the end consumer.

In November 2015, Teranov began geothermal exploration exercises in the Sandy Point area around Brimstone Hill, going to the top of Mount Liamigua.  Five geo-scientists were in St. Kitts conducting feasibility studies in geophysics, geology and geochemistry. President of Teranov, Jacques Chouraki, said then that the prospects for geothermal energy on St. Kitts were promising.

In September 2015, Minister Liburd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Teranov, which includes a road map that can possibly see the production of geothermal energy in 2020.

Minister Liburd has underscored the point that fossil fuel costs are very exorbitant and that “if we are going to continue our development and if we are going to ensure economic growth” that the Government must adopt a policy of renewable energy because “we are blessed with sunshine, we are blessed with wind and in the federation of two islands we have two volcanoes.” (St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service Press Release)

Stakeholders discuss way forward for Region’s sugar industry

 March 27, 2017 @ 12:51 pm   
At the policy workshop opening ceremony, from left are Mr. Karl James, Chairman Sugar Association of the Caribbean, Mr. Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry, CARICOM Secretariat, and, at the podium, Mr. Chris Bennett, Managing Director of the Caribbean Council
At the policy workshop, from left are Mr. Karl James, Chairman Sugar Association of the Caribbean, Mr.
Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Ms.
Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry, CARICOM Secretariat, and, at the podium, Mr. Chris Bennett, Managing Director of the Caribbean Council

The ability of sugar industry in the Region to survive after the removal of production quotas in the European Union (EU) on September 30, 2017, will depend on improved competitiveness and pragmatic diversification options, according to a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat official.The end of EU’s quota management for sugar is expected to lead to a fall in prices towards the international sugar price and a decrease in sugar imports from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, with particular impact on Caribbean producers.

In an address on 23 March to the opening of a Regional Policy Workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, that addressed the Caribbean Sugar Industry Post-2017, CARICOM Secretariat Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry. Ms. Nisa Surujbally, said that securing more remunerative markets, value addition and an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) were also very important to the industry’s survival.

“We have witnessed major structural changes in the operations of our sugar industries, including the exit from sugar production of two Member States, Trinidad and Tobago and St Kitts and Nevis. Nevertheless, we are mindful of the vital role and contribution of the sugar sectors to the economies of Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica. Survivability of these industries, after the removal of production quotas in the EU on September 30 2017, will in no small measure be a function of improved competitiveness, securing more remunerative markets, value addition, an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, and, not lastly, practical and pragmatic diversification options.

“I say this as a technical official while being acutely aware of the emotional associations we have with our Region’s oldest economic sector. This industry is responsible for us being here and has coloured our history from colonisation, to slavery to indentureship and to independence. It is not an easy time! Now is crunch time”, she told the gathering.

The workshop was convened by the Sugar Association of the Caribbean and hosted at JAMPRO with the advice and support of The Caribbean Council, the CARICOM Secretariat and JAMPRO. It was funded by the EU, United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ASR Group, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The workshop brought together industry leaders and policy-makers to inform and facilitate an in-depth discussion of how the Caribbean sugar industry now needs to adapt to the new market realities and the policy options which are available to both industry and regional governments.

The sessions focused on an outlook of the global sugar market and sugar prices; the 2017 EU sugar reform and short-term threats to the Caribbean sugar industry; access to new markets and opportunities; increasing productivity and competitiveness; managing the politics of transforming sugar industries; and adapting to climate change. Presenters included Mr. Jose Orive, Executive Director of the International Sugar Association, Mr. Paul Ryberg of the International Sugar Trade Coalition, His Excellency David Fitton, British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Mr. Gavin Tench, Deputy Ambasador of the Delegationof the European Union to Jamaica, Mr. Martin Todd, Managing Director of LMC International, Duncan Tate of Tate and Lyle Sugars as well as CARICOM industry officials. There were also panel discussions that explored the trade and tariff policy options that are open to Caribbean policy-makers, as well as the policy measures that Caribbean policy-makers could adopt to support a viable sugar industry.

Ms. Surujbally gave the assurance of the Secretariat’s continued support to the sugar industry of CARICOM through its active participation in the dialogue and framing of the policy options for decision-makers. More recently, the COTED adopted definitions for refined sugar and liquid sugar. CROSQ has also circulated revised quality standards for raw and refined sugar which will be tabled for the approval of the Council of Trade and Economic Development when it meets in May.

Ministers responsible for sugar met  for their Sixth Meeting of CARICOM Stakeholders in Sugar a day after the policy workshop and discussed its key outcomes. The industry will present a position paper to COTED with key recommendations on sustainability and competitiveness.

 

Derek Walcott laid to rest

 March 27, 2017 @ 10:03 am   
Sir Derek Walcott's funeral was held on Saturday, drawing professors, writers and dignitaries from across the globe.(Photo via Government of Saint Lucia)
Sir Derek Walcott’s funeral was held on Saturday, drawing professors, writers and dignitaries from across the globe.(Photo via Government of Saint Lucia)

The funeral of Sir Derek Alton Walcott KCSL, OBE, OCC, was held on Saturday, March 25, at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries.

Sir Derek passed away on March 17 at his home in Cap Estate, Saint Lucia. He was 87 years old.

The funeral service which took place in close proximity to the street where the poet and playwright was raised as a boy, drew professors, writers, the media, government officials and dignitaries from across the globe.

Professor Emeritus, Edward Alston Cecil Baugh, was a close friend of the 1992 Nobel Laureate. The Jamaican poet and scholar is recognized as an authority on the work of Derek Walcott. He edited Sir Derek’s book of Selected Poems in 2007.

Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (second from left) at the funeral of Sir Derek Walcott
Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (second from left) at the funeral of Sir Derek Walcott (Photo via Government of Saint Lucia)

Read more at: St. Lucia News Online