Backed by the powerful SIDS DOCK Bureau comprising the Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Tonga and Belize and the President of the Republic of Seychelles and the SIDS DOCK coalition of 32 countries, São Tomé & Príncipe and Global OTEC signed the world’s first agreement to develop a PPA for the development and deployment of a 1.5MW floating Ocean OTEC platform offshore São Tomé island.
Under the initiative of the Global Ocean Energy Alliance (GLOEA), as members and signatories of a Public Private Partnership (PPP), the government of São Tomé and Príncipe, along with partners SIDS DOCK, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and Global OTEC have arrived at an important milestone. The parties’ signatures of an MoU marks the basis of a mutual understanding of the legal and commercial parameters involving the deployment of OTEC technology to the twin-island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe.
Dr. Jorge Bom Jesus presented himself at the Eurostars Universal Hotel in Lisbon Portugal in front of intergovernmental alliances, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) heads of state, other nation state dignitaries and representatives, and fellow private partners to proudly declare full deployment of Global OTEC’s floating OTEC platform, “Dominique”, by 2024. Acknowledging the magnitude of such a project while simultaneously expressing willingness to pursue a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel imports is a great step towards environmental and economic progress for São Tomé and Príncipe and paves the way for other SIDS. The initial OTEC project will contribute towards achieving several UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as undercutting the current levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) by a significant margin enabled by concessionary financing supported by UNIDO.
On 19th September 2020 the fruitful alliance between Global OTEC and the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe began as a Letter of Expression was submitted to the SIDS DOCK Secretariat indicating an interest in pursuing the offshore deployment of Dominique. Within a matter of months, an MoU was signed between SIDS DOCK and Global OTEC. Following the completion of pre-feasibility studies and desktop simulations of the technology, Global OTEC received a personal invite to São Tomé on a SIDS DOCK Mission. Field studies regarding the location specific feasibility of an OTEC plant were conducted in April 2022. 53 days later the parties are proud to announce that an MoU for the next stage has been signed between the government of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, SIDS DOCK, and Global OTEC.
“The Energy Vision of the People of São Tomé and Príncipe is for ocean energy to play a significant role in their lives, as they learned that Dominique could provide us with baseload energy – energy all the time from the ocean, and also to help with food and freshwater security,” Prime Minister Dr. Jorge Bom Jesus said.
The emphasis on the importance of this project is paramount: the geographical disposition of SIDS, especially São Tomé and Príncipe, leaves them without oil in an otherwise oil rich world. With current infrastructure tailored to fossil fuel energy imports, São Tomé and Príncipe requires expensive oil importation to provide baseload subsistence power for the grid. However, with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of nearly 165,000 km2, São Tomé and Príncipe has an abundance of natural resources in the form of ocean thermal energy. With a year-round temperature differential between the warm tropical surface water and the cool waters at depths up to 750m, São Tomé and Príncipe has a firm supply of energy simply waiting to be converted and fed to their grid.
“Global OTEC will help realise the people of São Tomé and Príncipe’s Energy Vision. This important milestone shows both public and private sector funds that key terms of a bankable agreement can be reached” said Global OTEC CEO, Dan Grech.