July 17, 2015
PM notes benefits of geothermal energy to SVG

It is expected that a number of Vincentians who are being trained in the geothermal field will become employed once a plant is built here.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, at a press conference this week for the official launch of the geothermal project, noted that some Vincentians are currently pursuing studies in the geothermal field.{{more}}

“We have a lady who had done an honours degree in Physics from the University of the West Indies and she went to Iceland. She spent six months at the United Nations University there studying this particular matter. She is doing post graduate work in physics, specializing in geothermal,” he said.

“We have other persons in other parts of the world who are studying; a coast guard officer who has a first degree in mechanical engineering. He’s doing his Master’s degree, focusing on geothermal. I want when this plant is established that all these young people will be working for this company.”

However, Gunnar Orn Gunnarsson, the chief operating officer for Reyjavik, told reporters that the project is not so much about creating jobs, but rather about having a sustainable energy supply and energy price.

He noted that while jobs will be created when infrastructure is being built and for operating the powerplant, the biggest benefit is what the energy means to the country.

“It’s not about counting heads and how many will be working there. I think there will not be a huge difference, overall difference when you go from operating a diesel plant to operating a geothermal power plant, but it’s more about the energy that’s coming out,” Gunnarsson said.

The geothermal project is a joint venture between the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Reykjavik Geothermal from Iceland, Emera Light and Power and the Clinton Climate Initiative.

The project is expected to be completed by 2018 and should provide the country with 10 to 15 megawatts of energy. (BK)