Bank denies refusing funds for geothermal plant
The US Export-Import Bank says that contrary to a newspaper report, it is still considering financing for the plant in Nevis.
CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, Monday May 9, 2011 – Energy and Utilities Minister in the Nevis Island Administration Carlisle Powell has described as misleading, an article claiming that the US Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank had “dumped” the geothermal project on Nevis. The allegations made in the St. Kitts-Nevis Observer have also been refuted by the Bank.
The Minister addressed the matter when he spoke to the Department of Information from Puerto Rico where he was attending a conference on matters related to geothermal development.
The newspaper report, published on May 6, said the Ex-Im Bank had refused to approve US$63 million in loans to build the plant.
“This article is malicious deliberately willful, politically motivated and misleading,” Powell said.
Vice President of Public Affairs for the US Ex-Im Bank, Phillip Cogan also denied that any such decision had been taken. He said it had neither “dumped” nor disapproved the application for financing for the project.
“The Bank still has the project under review and consideration,” he said in a statement issued after the report was published.
The newspaper subsequently updated the story on its website, omitting the original claim and reflecting Cogan’s comments.
The Nevis Island Assembly recently passed a resolution that would guarantee the US$63 million loan to geothermal developers West Indies Power (WIP) for the geothermal project.
The loan would facilitate WIP’s construction of a power plant at Spring Hill and the Nevis Electricity Company’s (NEVLEC) cable network that would deliver the geothermal energy from the plant at Spring Hill to the Power Plant at Prospect.
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