(PRESS RELEASE) – The Government of Saint Lucia, after recommencing the exploration of the island’s geothermal resource, remains in pursuit of the successful development of this resource.
This agenda is expected to enable the island to reach its most recent target submitted through its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
For the electricity sector, the specific targets include 35% renewable energy by 2025 and 50% by 2030, based on a mix of geothermal, wind and solar energy sources.
The Government of Saint Lucia received financial assistance and support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank, the Government of New Zealand and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to undertake the surface exploration phase which is to conclude with a prefeasibility study and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).
This assessment will provide information that will inform decisions as to whether the Government should proceed to the next stage of the geothermal programme – the exploratory drilling phase.
The ESIA, which entails a preliminary assessment of environmental and social impacts associated with the exploratory drilling phase of the project, is currently in progress and is to be completed by January of 2018. Also underway is a pre-feasibility study which entails initial financial, economic, legal and power systems evaluations is expected to be completed by December 2017.
The Department of Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) within the Department of Economic Development, the consulting firm PANORAMA Environmental. Inc. and the local firm Engineering Construction and Management Consulting Ltd. (ECMC), will convene the fourth public consultation on the Geothermal Resource Development within the project areas in Soufriere and Choiseul.
The consultation is scheduled to take place in the following key areas:
(1) Fond St. Jacques – Thursday August 31st, 2017 at the Resource Center at 7:00p.m.
(2) Belle Plaine – Saturday September 2nd, 2017 at the Belle Vue Farmers Cooperative at 6:00p.m.
(3) Saltibus – Sunday September 3rd, 2017 at 3:00p.m. at the Saltibus Primary School.
The consultation is opened to all stakeholders and community members of Soufriere and Choiseul where the geothermal resource is located.
Consultants from the ESIA team along with representatives from the Department are expected to make presentations, aimed at informing the public of the critical next steps associated with geothermal exploration drilling and further development of the project.
The team is also disposed to receiving feedback from the various stakeholders by facilitating dialogue, which will serve as clarification to pressing questions or concerns posed by stakeholders.
All residents from Fond St. Jacques, Bell Plaine and Saltibus as well as other interested persons are invited to participate in the public consultations on the aforementioned dates.
The Department of Sustainable Development will continue dialoguing with residents and other stakeholders throughout the project lifetime to ensure that the public’s interests are protected and that the project is implemented successfully.