Drilling will soon begin on a third exploratory well in the search for geothermal energy.
The Government of Montserrat and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) announced Tuesday that the contract for the drilling of the third exploratory well at St Georges Hill in Montserrat was awarded to the Iceland Drilling Company (IDC).
A contract for £5.1m was signed on Friday 8th April 2016. It is anticipated that IDC will mobilise in July 2016 and drilling to commence in August 2016. Activity on the proposed site has already begun with work starting on site clearance, construction of the drilling pad, fencing, water supply and drainage.
IDC is no stranger to Montserrat, having drilled the first two exploratory wells.
Vilhjálmur Guðmundsson, Director of Business Development in Latin America and Caribbean for IDC, said “We are very pleased to be reacquainting ourselves with this high profile and worthwhile project. With highly qualified experts and experience in the field of geothermal drilling using the advanced technology in drilling equipment especially adjusted to geothermal work, we are proud to be part of the important step to create 100% sustainable energy system for the people of Montserrat.
Premier Romeo added “I am very pleased to see progress on this project, which is an integral part to the Government’s new 2016-2030 Energy Policy with the objective of Montserrat achieving 100% renewable energy by 2020. It is an ambitious target but one we must strive for. Recognising the importance of geothermal energy in our future development, GoM is currently recruiting its own geothermal programme manager, who will play a critical role in the completion of this drilling phase and in the development of the next phase of power production and distribution and the future of geothermal energy on Montserrat.”
The first two wells drilled on Montserrat are capable of providing approximately 2.4MW of base load power. The main purpose of the third well is for the reinjection of the waste water from the power generation process.
However, if following drilling and testing, the third well offers more potential as a production well, one of the first two wells will be used for reinjection purposes. The reinjection is preferred to ensure that the geothermal brine water which is separated from the steam will be disposed of, in an environmentally safe manner.
Whilst the drilling of the 3rd well is being undertaken, The Geothermal Steering Committee will be developing the business case for the next phase of power generation and distribution.