CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, Feb 4, CMC – The West Indies Power Nevis (WIPN) says it hopes the new Nevis Island Administration (NIA) will reverse the decision of the former administration and allow it to develop the geothermal energy sector on the island.
WIPN manager Kerry McDonald said he is hoping to convince the new government that the company has adequate expertise to undertake the project, adding “I am confident we can certainly put all of their concerns that were raised when they were in opposition to rest.
“We are the company that would like to develop it and is the best company to develop it right at this moment and we can plan to get it stated this year,” he added.
The last NIA headed by then premier Joseph Parry had Last year, filed a suit in the Nevis High Court to have WIPN declared insolvent and according to the court documents, the NIA is using the court to get out of its deal with the cash-strapped WIPN and have its exclusive license to produce geothermal energy on the island revoked.
The NIA claimed that the company is indebted to a number of companies and over the weekend former energy minister Carlisle Powell urged the Vance Amory administration not to reverse the decision in not allowing the WIPN to continue its exploration for geothermal energy on the island.
Premier Amory has not yet reported on any new development with geothermal, only to say it will be assessing the situation to determine the way forward
The exploration for geothermal energy began here in 2007 after the NIPA secured a 25-year power-purchase agreement with the NIA.
But McDonald said while his company had filed an appeal against the court ruling, it has always met its obligations under the accord and accused the previous NIA of withdrawing a guarantee that would have allowed the EX-IM bank to release funds for the project.
He said the company has already spent in excess of US $10 million in “discovering and bringing the engineering and development of the resources to the point where it can begin”. -
“The truth of the matter is that the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP)/NIA actually cancelled the guarantee on November 22, 2011 therefore making it impossible for us to receive the guarantee since it was a requirement.
“The NIA also prevented us from going on the site and meeting with any other investor we would bring in to commence the process,” McDonald said.
“The appeal…is still going on and the new government would have to withdraw the actions for us to go forward or we would have to wait on the appeal and the determination made which we think would be in our favour,” McDonald said, adding that his company has spent in excess of US$10 million on the project to date.