Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 30th 2013 Contents MAY 2013 • WEEK FIVE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
REGIONAL | BG9
The Dominica government is exploring the pos-
sibility of expanding the geothermal project to other
parts of the island, a senior public service official
Lucien Blackmore, permanent secretary in the
Ministry of Energy and Ports, speaking at a function
organised by the Dominica Association of Industry
and Commerce (DAIC), said the Roosevelt Skerrit
government is exploring the possibility of developing
the geothermal potential in the southern and north-
ern sections of the island.
"In Dominica, we still know we have the south,
the Soufriere source field, and, of course, we are
looking at starting very soon after we get it right
with Wotten Waven and to look into the northern
parts of the country as well," he told the business
Blackmoore said the government is looking at
"the production facility picking up by 2015 and to
start up we would want to start with the domestic
plant at 2015."
"We are looking at ten megawatts ... within an
additional year, say by 2016, an additional five
megawatts. So by the end of 2016, we will have 15
megawatts of power coming from geothermal on
our local grid (and) by 2018, we should have 20
megawatts available to the local grid."
The government has spent millions of dollars to
date developing the geothermal energy project here.
Blackmoore said the project would also be beneficial
to regional development.
"We have heard geothermal is not only a question
of producing power for Dominica, but also seeing
it as a serious means of regional integration and
we can think of no better way of starting as we say
charity begins at home .
"Normally, our neighbours are an extension of
our family and, of course, the department of Guade-
loupe and Martinique has been intimately involved
in the project process from inception," he said.
He said with the necessary arrangements in place,
Dominica will ensure that by 2018, 40 megawatts
of geothermal energy will be exported to Martinique
and 50 megawatts to Guadeloupe by 2020.
Alexis George, project officer in the ministry of
Energy and Ports, said the project is a national pri-
ority and will seek to enhance competitiveness.
"The geothermal resource development is, indeed,
a national priority. It is a very big project and it is
cutting across all sectors of the economy.
"We recognise that the geothermal resource is
about bringing about cheaper, more affordable elec-
tricity to the community and the country of Domini-
ca," he said. (Cana)
Brazil s 11th bidding round for
onshore and offshore exploration
rights, its first in five years, auctioned
142 blocks and drew bids totalling a
record US$1.4 billion.
The blocks cover 100,300 sqauare
kilometres of the 155,800 square
kilometres offered by the National
Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas,
and Biofuels (ANP).
The bid total represented a 798
per cent premium over the total auc-
tion starting price. Total forecast
investment to be made by winning
companies under minimum explo-
ration work programs is US$3.45 bil-
Thirty-nine companies from 12
countries participated. Thirty com-
panies had winning bids. Among
winners, 12 are from Brazil, four from
Canada, three from the United King-
dom, two each from Colombia and
the United States, and one each from
Australia, Bermuda, Spain, France,
Guernsey, Norway, and Portugal.
The biggest signing bonus, with
a winning bid of US$172 million,
came from a group involving Total,
operator with a 40 per cent interest,
and Petrobras and BP EOC, 30 per
cent each. The bid was for offshore
Block FZA-M-57 in the Foz do Ama-
zonas basin of northern Brazil.
The 142 auctioned blocks are in
11 states and 11 sedimentary basins.
Other basins are Barreirinhas, Ceara,
Espirito Santo, Para-Maranhao, Par-
Potiguar, Reconcavo, Sergipe-
Alagoas, and Tucano Sul. (Oil and
Details of Brazil s inaugural bid
round for pre-salt oil and gas blocks
will be announced in July, according
to state-run news service Agência
National hydrocarbons regulator
ANP is still drafting boundaries of
concession areas to be offered at the
auction, scheduled for November
Among areas certain to be includ-
ed is the Santos basin s Libra
prospect, located 230 milometres off
the coast of Rio de Janeiro, north of
Lula field. According to consultancy
Gaffney, Cline & Associates the
prospect holds up to 15 billion barrels
of oil equivalent of recoverable
ANP director Helder Queiroz said
the number of pre-salt bid rounds
could be limited to one every two
years in an effort to maximise each
field s potential.
"That is our idea, but it s some-
thing the national energy policy
board (CNPE) must decide," Queiroz
Under rules already outlined by
the federal government, Brazil s fed-
eral energy major Petrobras will oper-
ate all pre-salt blocks with a min-
imum 30 per cent stake.
Queiroz denied the rules had
diminished interest from foreign
"All oil companies know that dif-
ferent contract rules exist all over
the world," he said.
Brazil s pre-salt oil and gas fields,
located beneath a two kilometre-
thick layer of salt below the Atlantic
seabed, are estimated to hold up to
50 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
(Business News Americas)
PARAMARIBO, Suriname---Suriname s government
has announced it will be investing in solar energy to
bring electricity to remote communities across the
Gunzi, a Maroon village in the upper Suriname River
region will serve as test subject for the project that
was announced on May 13 at the Cabinet of the pres-
Alternative energy company WTEC from the United
States was contracted to execute the project, in close
cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources,
national electricity company EBS and the Anton de
Kom University of Suriname.
More than three quarters of Suriname s landmass
are blanketed by thick rainforest; most of the country s
inhabitants live in the capital Paramaribo as a result,
several villages in the sparsely populated hinterland
have not been hooked up to the EBS grid and make
do with noisy diesel-powered generators that are only
switched on at night.
Natural Resources Minister Stanley Betterson under-
scored that bringing electricity to the remote villages
will benefit education, industry and development of
Last month Government scrapped a proposal to
execute a hydro energy project in the hinterland. The
TapaJai project would call for submerging 240 kilo-
metres of land along the upper Suriname River and
installing a new series of turbines which would ulti-
mately generate 275 megawatts of power. Residents
of the surrounding Maroon villages have objected to
Joining Government officials at the press conference,
WTEC director Brian Singh said solar energy is a cost
effective alternative, as Suriname has plenty sunlight
and the prices for solar panels are dropping worldwide.
Singh announced that his company was donating the
US$75,000 plant that will be set up as a pilot in Gunzi.
University students will monitor the Gunzi project
for a year and their findings will be used to optimize
its use and execute the project in other villages. Envi-
ronment Coordinator John Goedschalk said government
is investing in indepth research to find the ideal mix
of alternatives to supply energy. He said the criteria
for this mix are accessibility, cost effectiveness and
least impact on the environment. (CANA)
Dominica looking to
expand geothermal project
Suriname looks to solar
energy for remote areas
Lucien Blackmore, permanent secretary in the
Ministry of Energy and Ports
Brazil to reveal pre-salt
round details in July
Brazil's 11th round
attracts record outlay
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