Global OTEC to deploy an OTEC floating ocean platform off São Tomé Island

São Tomé and Príncipe and Global OTEC signed the world’s first agreement to develop a public-private partnership (PPP) for the development and deployment of a 1.5 MW Ocean OTEC floating platform off the island of Sao Tome

1.5 MW OTEC barge from Global OTEC. (Image source: Global OTEC)

The agreement is supported by the SIDS DOCK office comprising the Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Tonga and Belize, the President of the Republic of Seychelles and the SIDS DOCK coalition of 32 countries.

At the initiative of the Global Ocean Energy Alliance (GLOEA), as members and signatories of a PPP, the government of São Tomé and Príncipe, together with its partners SIDS DOCK, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Global OTEC have reached an important milestone. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the parties marks the basis for a mutual understanding of the legal and commercial parameters involving the deployment of OTEC technology in the twin island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe.

Jorge Bom Jesus, Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe, acknowledged the magnitude of such a project but expressed his willingness to continue assustainable alternative to fossil fuel imports. He said the agreement is a big step towards environmental and economic progress for São Tomé and Príncipe and paves the way for other SIDS.

The initial OTEC project will help achieve several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as reducing the current Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) by a significant margin enabled by concessional financing supported by UNIDO.

“The energy vision of the people of São Tomé and Príncipe is that the energy of the oceans plays an important role in their lives, because they learned that Dominica could provide us with basic energy – energy from the ocean at all times, and also to help with food and fresh water security,” Jesus commented.

With current infrastructures adapted to fossil energy imports, São Tomé and Príncipe requires expensive oil import provide basic subsistence power for the grid. However, with an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of almost 165,000 km2, São Tomé and Príncipe is rich in natural resources in the form of ocean thermal energy. With a year-round temperature differential between warm tropical surface waters and cold waters at depths of up to 750m, São Tomé and Príncipe has a firm supply of energy just waiting to be converted and powered by its network.

“Global OTEC will help realize the energy vision of the people of São Tomé and Príncipe. This important step shows both public and private sector funds that the key terms of a bankable deal can be reached,” said Global OTEC CEO Dan Grech.

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