CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is in the final stages of renegotiating its current geothermal arrangement, according to Hon. Mark Brantley, NIA Minister of Finance and Energy.
“We had a meeting with the technical team on Nevis, the legal team, Nevis Electricity Company Ltd, (NEVLEC) and others,” said Hon. Brantley. “We are at the end stages now of completing our renegotiation.
“We had some minor points left to renegotiate,” he said. “A new player has come in as an equity partner, a company called Albioma. We are working with different lawyers, and different individuals to ensure we have the best possible deal for the island of Nevis going forward.
“So far, from abandoning the project, we are actually prepared to move forward with the project…The project is definitely on,” he stated.
Brantley pointed out that the government’s pursuit of the renewable energy source did not impede its continued upgrade of the island’s electricity company.
“Notwithstanding that we are committed to geothermal, we have not stopped trying to upgrade NEVLEC, the two things aren’t mutually exclusive.
“We have continued with the upgrades at NEVLEC,” said Brantley. “I would have advised recently that the government took a decision to purchase another Wärtsilä engine to ensure that we have sufficient capacity at NEVLEC to carry the island.
“We are not putting that on hold while we wait for geothermal,” he said. “We should have the capacity and if and when geothermal comes, we do the necessary switching over to renewables. That is the ultimate goal but in the interim we continue to upgrade.”
Brantley previously indicated that part of the renegotiations would see consumers on Nevis paying less for renewable energy when it comes on-stream, compared to the pre-existing arrangement.