ESIA for the Nevis Geothermal Wells Drilling Project

The Nevis Electricity Company Limited (NEVLEC), in conjunction with the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), is planning to develop a 10MWs of geothermal energy for Nevis,. The Project is being considered to be partially financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through the Sustainable Energy Facility for the Eastern Caribbean Global Credit Loan of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). As such, the Project must adhere to national guidelines as well as the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standards (PS) on Environmental and Social Sustainability (2012) and applicable IFC Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines, as well as to the IDB Environmental and Social Operational Policies. ERM, an international sustainability consulting firm, was retained to prepare a Preliminary Supplemental Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the Nevis Geothermal Project, to complement a 2017 EIA and 2020 Addendum carried out by Point Impact Analysis.

The Project is located in the Hamilton Estate on the island of Nevis, particularly on Hamilton Heritage Trust land that NIA has leased to the company, with buildings on the Hamilton Stable parcel. Nevis is part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea. The proposed Project would use local geothermal resources to provide a sustainable source of power that would reduce reliance on the world petroleum markets for electric power on Nevis and would decrease emissions of criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHGs) associated with global climate change.

Point Impact Analysis (PIA) assessed the environmental and social impacts of the project in 2010 and again during 2016-2017 and provided its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Nevis Binary Geothermal Development Project (the Project) on May 2, 2017, which was issued for public comment on May 15, 2017. In January 2020, Point Impact Analysis provided an update as an addendum to the EIA.

Now, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) has supported NEVLEC in the preparation of this Preliminary Supplemental Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to meet Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) requirements and address International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards for a Category B Project. The Project is being considered to be partially financed by the IDB and the CDB. This Preliminary Supplemental ESIA should be read in conjunction with the previous EIA document. All documents will be made public on NEVLEC, IDB and CDB webpages.