The Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal today granted the application of the Nevis Island Administration to strike out the appeal filed by West Indies Power (Nevis) Limited (WIPN) in relation to the ongoing geothermal project in Nevis.
The previous NRP led Nevis Island Administration had entered into certain arrangements with WIPN to explore and develop geothermal energy in Nevis. When it became obvious to that Administration that WIPN was unable to pay its debts as they became due, the Administration sued WIPN seeking a declaration that it was unable to pay its debts and the concession agreement granted to WIPN should be terminated as a result. The Master of the High Court granted the relief sought by the Administration on January 16th, 2013 and the Administration thereafter terminated the agreement with WIPN.
WIPN appealed the decision of the Master by appeal filed on July 2nd, 2013 alleging that it was able to pay its debts and that the Master has erred in granting relief to the Administration. However WIPN took no steps whatsoever to advance its appeal.
The new CCM led Administration applied to strike out the appeal of WIPN on the basis that WIPN was in serial violation of the Rules of Court and had taken no steps in nearly a year to prosecute its appeal. The Administration also argued that the geothermal project was critical to the people of Nevis and that this un-meritorious appeal served only to delay the project to the prejudice of the entire populace of Nevis.
Today the Court of Appeal issued an order striking out the appeal of WIPN and ordering WIPN to pay the Administration costs.
This brings to an end this long and unfortunate episode with WIPN and now makes it clear that the Administration can proceed to enter into new contractual arrangements with different credible developers to ensure that geothermal energy is developed and made available to the people of Nevis.
The Nevis Island Administration was represented by Ms Dia Forrester and Mr Jomokie Phillip of the law firm of Daniel, Brantley & Associates whilst WIPN was represented by Mr Terrence Byron of the law firm of Byron & Byron.
Nevis Island Administration