Minister Liburd: Government discussing Geothermal Agreement made with private company

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Minister of Energy, Hon. Ian Liburd

By Staff Writer

The Government findings from its geothermal exploration on St. Kitts would be released shortly, but they are currently in discussions on the way forward in relation to the contract with private company, Teranov, according to Minister of Energy, Hon. Liburd.

Giving an update on the project to The Observer, Liburd explained that he would not be able to disclose much of the results at this point, but noted that based on the results from test conducted overseas, the indicators are “promising”.

He however noted that the government is making progress in that area, as they are currently undertaking discussions at the Cabinet level to ascertain if the agreement with Teranov is best suited for the Federation.

“We are at present discussing the government agreement with our private partner and we are trying to finalize that…with the advice from Cabinet we have sought an independent advice going forward with one of our regional organization,” explained the Minister.

Earlier this year, Liburd had disclosed that the government was undertaking a geophysical field survey and the findings were expected to be released at a regional conference held in May, however, that was delayed.

The Minister was hopeful of making the announcement at another regional conference held this month but that too was delayed.

The Geothermal project forms part of the government’s overall thrust to develop a green economy in the Federation, after its debt to the Petro Caribe organization amounted to just under $100 millon.

Commenting on the debt, Liburd noted minor discussions was had on the sidelines of the recent Non-Aligned Movement meeting (NAM) in Caracas, Venezuela, earlier this month.

“We had discussions, but in relation to the overall debt the discussions are still ongoing with over Venezuelan counterparts,” he said.  “We do have a proposal before us and the Ministry of Finance is looking at ways that we can service that debt in short order.”

The government over the last several months had made moves to have the interest on that debt waved, but no official word had been forth coming on their negotiations.

In its effort to minimize St. Kitts and Nevis’ dependency on the fossil fuel importation, the Team Unity Government had implemented a number of renewable energy projects to mitigate that.

The Minister has given the assurance that this project would not affect the one on Nevis.