New company to revive geothermal project – Searchlight

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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

The government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is in talks with the Canadian company Eavor Technologies with the aim of advancing the geothermal project here.

The first attempt to establish a geothermal project here was halted in 2019 when it was discovered that low permeability would make the project unprofitable.

On Tuesday May 3, officials from the Canadian geothermal company were in SVG for meetings with government officials, St Vincent Electricity Limited (Vinlec) and the local geothermal company.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told NBC Radio listeners on Wednesday May 4 that he and Energy Minister Senator Julian Francis, as well as that department’s permanent secretary, were present at the meeting.

Vinlec was represented by its CEO, Thornley Myers and its Deputy Managing Director, Dr. Vaughn Lewis; while Ellsworth Dacon, project manager of the SVG Geothermal Company, represented this entity.

The prime minister said the government was looking to turn the decline in the geothermal energy harvest into a breakthrough.

That is the government’s hope, despite opposition leader Dr Godwin Friday saying the SVG geothermal project is absolutely dead.

Attempts to extract geothermal energy in the north of the continent have been carried out by Reykjavik Geothermal of Iceland, in collaboration with the SVG Geothermal Company.

Gonsalves recalled that the rocks did not have the degree of permeability necessary to produce the 10 megawatts, which would have made the project viable.

Representatives of Vinlec, as well as Dacon, have already visited Eavor’s operations in Canada.

Gonsalves said Wednesday that Eavor had pioneered a “special form of technology” that he hopes could be used here for economical geothermal extraction.

First, this form of technology is to be applied at a geothermal site in the United States of America, before being used at SVG.

It was further revealed that all initial work done by Eavor will be at their own expense.

Gonsalves added that Canadian company officials are expected to return to St. Vincent and the Grenadines towards the end of 2023.

He expressed the hope that by 2024 the new project would begin.

This new project is expected to produce more than 10 megawatts of geothermal energy.

“The savings we will achieve will be greater,” the prime minister said.

In addition, Gonsalves mentioned the possibility of developing a hydrogen industry, which SVG could export.

Hydrogen is an odorless gas that is often used in the manufacture of fertilizers for agriculture.

It can also be used to generate electricity.

Gonsalves said he had to think about the future of the country, with cheaper energy and the export of hydrogen.

He said that the government must now inform all its partners who were with the first geothermal project of the prospects of this new attempt.

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