The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


December 20, 2021 edition–Trinidad & Tobago’s oil and gas; St Kitts and Nevis’ storage project; and Panamá’s natural gas powered plant.



Last Week in a Minute or Less

Central America. Panamá will have a new natural gas-powered plant; Panamá plans a small thermoelectric plant; and the US prepares indictments against Salvadoran officials.

Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Cuba will power research with solar panels; the Dominican Republic’s EDES received offers for power; and a fuel truck explosion in Haiti killed 60 people.

Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Oil companies are still after Trinidad & Tobago’s oil and gas; MPC Energy Solutions will bet on St Kitts and Nevis’ storage project; and Oil Plus will develop a maintenance plan for DeNovo’s oil platform.

South America’s Caribbean Coast. Guyana relaxed the overly rigid local content terms in the oil bill; the biggest solar microgrid in Colombia is working now; and Venezuela is legislating renewables.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Aruba’s LNG terminal (Reuters – English); and Colombia’s carbon-neutral oil (Portafolio – Spanish).

Editorial Interlude


The Weekly Brief team and I extend our wishes for a happy holiday season to all of our readers as we near the end of 2021. After such a tumultuous year, we hope everyone will be able to make time to renew and reconnect with friends and family.

This is our last edition for 2021. Our next edition will be delivered on January 10, 2022 so that our team can also take some well-deserved time off over the holidays.

I look forward to 2022 bringing many positive changes. Within the Weekly Brief team, I am pleased to announce that in the New Year Lola Ballesteros, our current Associate Editor, will be taking over as the Weekly Brief’s publisher and Editor-in-Chief.

Lola has been with the Weekly Brief since it began and has been responsible for managing the editorial and production team for the past four years.  I am excited for Lola as she takes this next step in her career. I know that I am leaving the Weekly Brief in good hands as I step back from my previous role.

Thank you for your loyal readership. I look forward to crossing paths again in the near future.

– Jed Bailey, Editor-in-Chief emeritus, The Weekly Brief



Government & NGO

The US prepares indictments against Salvadoran officials. US authorities are preparing criminal charges against El Salvador’s deputy justice minister Osiris Luna and another senior official, accusing them of negotiating a secret truce with gangs (Reuters – English). The decision is raising tensions between Washington and President Nayib Bukele’s government.


Venezuela’s inflation reached 1,197.49%. Inflation in the Caribbean nation sped up in November, closing at 8.4% (El Economista – Spanish). The increase in prices is hitting families’ economies with an annual inflation of 1,197.49%.


The IMF is happy with Barbados’ progress. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes the Caribbean nation is steadily moving ahead with the implementation of the comprehensive Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan aimed at restoring fiscal sustainability, increasing reserves, and unlocking growth potential through structural reforms (IMF – English).

Jamaica will boost sustainable MSME growth. Jamaica will boost sustainable and robust growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with EUR€7.4m in non-reimbursable investment financing approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB – English), with funds from the European Union’s Caribbean Investment Facility (CIF).


Oil & Gas Upstream


Guyana relaxed the overly rigid local content terms in the oil bill. The Caribbean nation’s government delivered to the National Assembly the draft of a local content bill that will regulate its nascent oil industry, proposing requirements beginning at 5% by the end of 2022 for activities to be carried out by contractors and licensees (Reuters – English). The policy relaxed some of the minimum requirements included in a previous draft earlier this year.


Guyana’s Kawa-1 well found oil. Frontera Energy announced that the Kawa-1 exploration well has encountered hydrocarbon presence (OE Digital – English). The drilling at Kawa-1, being carried out by the Maersk Discoverer semi-submersible drilling rig, is taking longer than initially expected, and with costs projected to rise.

Shell prepares an offshore well in Colombia. The oil giant is close to spudding its Gordon 2 wildcat well off Colombia’s coast as part of a joint venture with Ecopetrol (BN Americas – English). The objective of the exploration campaign will be to determine the size and quality of natural gas resources.

Oil companies are still after Trinidad & Tobago’s oil and gas. A dozen companies have accessed the data room set up by the Trinidad & Tobago government to obtain information regarding the forthcoming bid round featuring 17 deep-water exploration blocks (Upstream Online – English).

Oil Plus will develop a maintenance plan for DeNovo’s oil platform. DeNovo has contracted Oil Plus to develop the maintenance strategy and program for the renewable energy-powered Zandolie platform offshore Trinidad (Offshore Mag – English). The platform uses a combination of power generated by a wind turbine and a solar bank.

Colombia received no counteroffers for its oil round. The government said there were no counteroffers for oil and gas blocks in Colombia’s latest licensing round, but contracts for 30 blocks that received bids will be signed in the coming days (Reuters – English).


Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Haiti’s fuel truck explosion killed 60 people. More than 60 people have died after a fuel truck overturned and exploded in Haiti’s second-largest city, Cap-Haitien (The Guardian – English). The local hospital was stretched trying to treat the injured; the hospital is in need of human and material resources.

ExxonMobil plans a Guyana supply depot. The company plans an onshore supply base to expand jobs and boost local fabrication for future projects, starting with its fourth production unit (gCaptain – English). Guyana is still reviewing needed environmental permits for the production consortium’s future project.

JPS warned of higher tariff bills caused by fuel costs. The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) warned clients to expect higher electricity bills, as the company is paying more for fuel as a result of the international upsurge in prices (Jamaica Gleaner – English).

Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Cheniere will supply LNG in the Caribbean. New Fortress issued a statement saying it had signed two LNG supply agreements to support its natural gas and electricity businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Nicaragua (Platts – English). A range of approximately 600,000-1 million mt/year of LNG is to be delivered.


Panamá will have a new natural gas-powered plant. Generadora de Gatún submitted an environmental impact study (EIS) for the power transmission line of the company’s 670MW natural gas-fired project (BN Americas – English). The Telfers substation is part of the generation plant.

Europe is helping the Panama Canal’s LNG congestion. Shipping congestion through the Panama Canal amid strong demand for LNG has eased after wait times peaked at 16 days for vessels with unreserved slots (Natural Gas Intel – English). Asian prices have hit records this year, attracting US LNG cargoes and creating fierce competition with Europe for supplies.

AES Dominicana handed out sustainable certificates. AES Dominicana awarded carbon credit certificates to more than 42 companies and to government institutions for the carbon emissions compensated by natural gas vehicle use (Diario Libre – Spanish).



Electric Power & Renewables


Panamá plans a thermoelectric plant. A 1MW thermoelectric plant will be built, operated, and connected to the national grid (Central America Data – Spanish). The project will count on two diesel motors.

Venezuela is legislating renewables. Venezuela is drafting renewable energy legislation that would enable the private sector to break free from the power grid (Argus Media – English). The law will provide a mechanism for self-generation, and in a second stage, it could allow the possibility of private electricity sales.

The Dominican Republic’s EDES received offers for power. The power distribution companies received offers for a long-term public auction for the purchase of energy (El Nuevo Diario – Spanish). The Energy and Mines Ministry explained that the process was developed to operate the system with reasonable levels of reserves.

MPC Energy Solutions will bet on St Kitts and Nevis’ storage project. The sustainable energy company will invest as a minority partner in a solar-plus-storage plant project developed by Swiss battery maker Leclanche in the Caribbean nation (Renewables Now – English). The Green Power Plant project on the island of Saint Kitts will integrate a 35.7MWp solar PV farm and a 45MWh battery energy storage system.

Cuba will power research with solar panels. The Finlay Vaccine Institute will receive electricity from 1,200 panels connected to a grid of 300kWp capable of producing 1,500kWh per day (PV Magazine – Spanish). SODePAZ and Cuba Solar will offer an investment of EUR1m for the project.

The biggest solar microgrid in Colombia is working now. The German company DHYBRID and Vibran installed the country’s biggest hybrid microgrid in Unguía (PV Magazine – Spanish). Four generators are connected with a solar system of 780kWp and a power storage system of 333kWh.



Old School Social Goes Viral

(Editor’s note: For the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, this section will refocus on announcements of event delays or cancellations, events that are moved online, and scheduled webinars and public conference calls. Stay safe!)

The Hydrogen Congress for Brazil is scheduled for February 22-23, 2022.

The Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum will be held April 26-28, 2022, at the JW Marriott Marquis, in Miami.



Lateral Thinking


Grupo Energía Bogotá presented a second arbitration to CIADI. Grupo Energía Bogotá and Transportadora de Energía de Centroamérica presented a new arbitration of investments before the Centro Internacional de Arreglo de Diferencias relativas a Inversiones (CIADI) (CIAR Global – Spanish). It is the second arbitration presented to reach an agreement.

Quote of the Week

“El amor no es ciego como reza el refrán; lo que ocurre es que los amantes inventan lo que no es y ven lo que no existe.”

“Love is not blind as the saying goes; what happens is that lovers invent what it is not and see what does not exist.”

– Daína Chaviano (1957), Cuban-American writer of French and Asturian descent living in the United States since 1991.

We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or international arbitration to

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