EWP eyes St Lucia for business
A South Korean company has expressed an interest in investing in renewable energy in St Lucia, Foreign Affairs Minister Alva Baptiste has said.
Baptiste, who recently ended a visit to the Asian country, held talks with the Korea East West Power Company Limited (EWP), according to a government statement.
EWP generates electricity using bituminous coal, anthracite, heavy oil, liquefied natural gas, outflow water, sea water, sunlight, fuel cells, and wind power.
Baptiste said the Korean company became interested after the St Lucia delegation made a presentation on new and renewable energy on the island.
"This presentation really excited concrete responses within the decision-making bodies in South Korea, to the extent that East West Power Company Limited has indicated an interest in investing in the renewable energy sector in Saint Lucia," said Baptiste.
"This is not just an investor that is speaking to this issue likely, but they are certainly in the orbit of Saint Lucia with absolute alacrity so it's left for us now to make a determination as to the way forward with exploring other areas of renewable energy."
EWP is already invested in the Caribbean in partnership with Marubeni.
The South Korean company owns 40 per cent of power provider Jamaica Public Service Company. Marubeni also owns 40 per cent and the Jamaican government 19.9 per cent.
Baptiste said that the Koreans appear interested in geothermal energy.
He said with international crude oil prices skyrocketing frequently, an investment in renewable energy would result in tremendous benefits for the local economy.
"Can you imagine what it would be to have geothermal energy in St. Lucia where we can actually generate electricity at a few cents - maybe less than ten cents per kilowatt?," said Baptiste.
"This would make us more attractive for investment purposes. It would be more attractive for domestic consumption because electricity would be cheaper and people will have more disposable income, so it will be a joyous daybreak to end the long night of suffering for our citizens because we have no control over the price of oil which fluctuates on the world market and, certainly, exploring renewable energy is an area that would be of tremendous assistance and significance to us if we are able to create a breakthrough," he said.
Baptiste said that the Kenny Anthony-led administration would take the necessary steps to facilitate the interest in the renewable energy sector on the island.