Geothermal in Nevis to Re-start in December

In this new thrust, a new company known as RAM, and headed by Hezy Ram, is said to be partnering with embattled developer, West Indies Power, (WIP) in an effort to move ahead with the long-awaited geothermal power project in Nevis. This has become necessary as the Government of Nevis has taken legal action against WIP, which has stalled its activities to develop the new energy supply as was previously agreed a few years ago. 

Mr. Ram has admitted that his involvement comes at a time when the project is at a troubling period. “It’s a very messy project,” admits Ram, who left Ram Power, which he founded last year because he disagreed with the management of the company. “If it’s simple somebody else can do it. I love a challenge, said Ram. 

Ram helped to build the San Jacinto-Tizate geothermal power plant in Nicaragua, itself a major challenge. 

Earlier this year, Ram, through his company Ram Energy, agreed to partner with WIP to handle the technical aspects and project financing for the scheme. Ram has advised that he has already spoken with the premier, the NIA and the Nevlec, the local utility company.

“Everyone is really eager to see this project happening,” says Ram; in fact, they are “desperate to see it happen after so many false starts.” ram

Ram declined to comment on WIP’s myriad legal issues, but says he is trying to sit down with all of the stakeholders to “structure a deal beneficial to all of us and to help the people of Nevis and St Kitts.” 

Despite the high cost of the project, estimated by Ram at $70m to $80m, he believes finding financing will be the easiest part of the project as multi-lateral banks are already interested and the risk is low. 

In addition, “we will do the financing without any guarantee- we did that in Nicaragua,” he said. 

Ram hopes to start construction by year’s end on up to 10MW and start operating by early 2015. A second phase would bring total capacity up to 45MW, with the excess being provided to St Kitts. “For all practical purposes this project is shovel-ready,” says Ram.

“The most important thing is that we have to clear the legal issues. If we don’t clear the legal issues, even I won’t be able to do the project.” 

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