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Nevis Geothermal Dispute May End Up at the Privy Council



Geothermal exploration in Nevis

By Andre Huie 


CHARLESTOWN, Nevis (WINN) — CEO of West Indies Power, Kerry McDonald, says the company may take its breach of contract case against the Nevis Island Administration to the Privy Council. 


McDonald told WINN on Monday that the contract with the NIA was never terminated by the court and that the NIA walked away from the agreement without following proper procedure for termination.  “The agreement itself has a very set way which if you’re going to terminate it, you have to follow. None of that was followed,” McDonald asserted.


“Also in the agreement, there is a whole clause that says if in fact there is an issue, there is to be a cure time for issue, in which you can correct that issue and none of that’s happened,” he told WINN FM.


“There’s a whole… administrative procedure part in the agreement that sets forth what you do if there’s some sort of breach of the contract, what notices you’re to give, what the timeframes are, and… if in fact there is… some aspect that is a breach of the contract, there is a cure period in which there is a specific amount of time which you can cure…that particular breach,” he explained.


According to McDonald, the NIA will either have to pay damages or allow it to resume developing geothermal, as giving the concession to another company is a breach of contract.  “Our preference would be to develop geothermal on Nevis, because we think we know more about the geothermal there than anyone else in the world, to be quite honest with you,” McDonald said.

“We have the expertise in house and we also have the… financial commitments to develop it, and we stand ready to do that, whenever the NIA would like to sit down and talk with us, which I’ve asked several times to do,” he said.


McDonald said that he understood that government officials had made it clear that they were not interested in doing business with his company, but said that they were nonetheless bound by the terms of the contract.  “I understand what the government has stated, but I will say again that there is a contract in existence that states what the rights and obligations of both parties are, and… any government that comes in they are obligated… they are bound by the contracts as a sovereign government that they make. So it doesn’t matter who ever made the contract and the other party comes in, they just can’t willy nilly… say, ‘We don’t want to abide by this,'” he said.


The NIA claims West Indies Power was not able to financially complete the project. But according to McDonald, if the company was given the opportunity according to the contract to correct this problem, it would be in a position to do so. 


A court last year declared the contract null and void, ruling that WIP did not have the financial means to complete the project, thus nullifying the contract with the NIA.   West Indies Power has appealed the ruling.














Category/ies:News, St Kitts and Nevis News.
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