Former government minister, Peter Josie, has warned of potential dire consequences from a decision by Scotiabank to exit nine Caribbean countries, including St Lucia.
Earlier this week, Scotiabank announced plans to sell the Caribbean businesses to Trinidad and Tobago-based Republic Financial Holdings Ltd., subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
However, Josie has expressed concern that the reserve currencies of the countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in US dollars could be put at the mercy and in the hands of Republic Bank or its agents in Trinidad and Tobago.
“It means that the Trinidad merchants, these avaricious people, in no time at all will find their hands on the OECS reserve currencies and very soon if that happens, the people and businesses in St Lucia and the rest of the OECS will have to line up to get a few dollars to do business,” the former St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader told a radio audience Thursday.
He also called on Prime Minister and others to look into the matter and try to summon a meeting of all OECS leaders and Finance Ministers to see if they can halt what is going on.
St. Vincent Geothermal Company Limited (SVGCL) and the Icelandic Drilling Company (IDC) on Thursday signed a contract that will lead to drilling of four wells for a geothermal power project in St. Vincent.
According to IDC’s chief executive officer, Sigurdur Sigurdsson the wells are intended to supply steam for the geothermal power plant to be constructed by SVGCL .
The project aims to deliver a 10 megawatt geothermal power plant to the island, transforming its energy sector, reducing its dependency on imported diesel, and providing a new sustainable and affordable source of energy based on an indigenous resource.
IDC notes that once operational, the plant will supply substantially all of the country’s baseload power and bring renewable energy sources to ~73 per cent of total power generation, well in excess of SVG’s Energy Action Plan target of 60 per cent by 2020.