The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


April 15, 2019 edition– Puerto Rico’s clean power; Costa Rica’s changing oil sector; and Guyana’s oil training.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Guatemala awarded 63MW for 2020; Costa Rica plans to transform its oil sector; and the BCIE blames local power lines for Central America’s high tariffs.


Greater Antilles. Puerto Rico will kill coal power generation; Haiti has a brand new prime minister; and the Dominican Republic cut the ribbon on a wind farm.


Lesser Antilles. The Bahamas must work on its GDP growth outlook.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Colombia could help Venezuela’s oil recovery; GeoPark started construction to connect the Llanos 34 block; and Guyana turns to the Islamic bank to fund oil training.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Wigton’s wind in Jamaica (English); Belco’s testing (English); and Total’s storage in Puerto Rico (English).



Political Economy


Haiti has a brand new prime minister. Prime Minister Jovenel Moise announced that Jean Michel Lapin was appointed as Jean-Henry Ceant’s successor (English). Lapin will choose his government before presenting his program to be ratified in the Chamber of Deputies.


The WB expects El Salvador’s economy to grow 2.6%. The World Bank forecast 2.6% growth in El Salvador’s economy this year and expects a slower growth of 2.5% for 2020 (Spanish). The central bank’s forecast was 2.4%.


The IMF cut the Dominican Republic’s growth outlook. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered the Dominican Republic’s growth estimate from 5.5% to 5.1% (English). The IMF expects consumer prices to climb 1.4% by the end of 2019.


CARICOM is worried over the Scotiabank sale. The Caribbean Community Competition Commission (CCC) has anti-competitive concerns regarding the sale of the Bank of Nova Scotia’s regional assets to Republic Financial Holdings (English). In the report, the CCC found the transaction could have anti-competitive effects in three member states.


The Bahamas must work on its GDP growth outlook. A governance reformer recommended the Bahamas reverse the downward GDP growth trajectory forecasted by the International Monetary Fund (English). The IMF maintained previous predictions that the Bahamian economy will grow by 2.1% in 2019.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Costa Rica plans to transform its oil sector. The government plans to transform the Costa Rican Oil Refiner (Recope) in the Costa Rican Company of Fuels and Alternative Energies (Ecoena). The goal is to transform the institution to allow it to research, produce, import and export, industrialize, store, sell, and transport alternative chemical energies (Spanish).


Colombia could help Venezuela get back its oil mojo. The Colombian former Energy Minister, Mauricio Cárdenas, said Colombia could help and benefit from an oil recovery in Venezuela (English). Analysts said boosting Venezuela’s oil production would require billions of dollars in foreign investment.


Guyana looks for funds from the Islamic bank for oil training. Guyana asked the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to fund training for the local population in the emerging oil and gas sector (English). The Energy Department Head announced that oil industry companies were encouraged to prioritize employing Guyanese workers.


Venezuela’s oil output dropped again. Venezuela’s oil production fell to 870,000 barrels per day (English). The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may increase oil output from July if Venezuelan supply drops further and prices keep increasing.



Oil & Gas Downstream


The US goes after companies transporting crude from Venezuela to Cuba. The US will sanction 34 vessels that move crude from Venezuela to Cuba. The sanctions are directed towards vessels owned or operated by PDVSA, Ballito Bay Shipping, and ProPer In Management (English).


GeoPark is busy in Colombia. GeoPark Limited had five new wells tested and put in production in the Llanos 34 block, adding 5,600 bopd gross, and the flowline construction to connect the Llanos 34 block to regional pipelines was completed on budget (English).


Experts are concerned with Nicaragua’s high fuel prices. César Arévalo, an expert on the hydrocarbons market, said fuel prices have skyrocketed above international prices compared to the same period from January to April 2018 (Spanish). The expert also pointed to the impact the tax reform and the INSS would have on fuel prices.



Renewables & Electricity


Guatemala awarded 63MW of power for 2020. The National Electrification Institute (INDE) was awarded a contract to provide 63MW of capacity. Six companies participated in the event, and the auction started with a price of US$8.81 per kW-month (Spanish).


The Dominican Republic cut the ribbon on a wind farm. President Danilo Medina opened the first phase of the Agua Clara wind farm, a project developed by INKIA Energy with an investment of US$103m (English). The wind farm will produce 170,000 MWh per year, reducing the country’s annual oil demand by 250,000 barrels.


The BCIE blames local power lines for Central America’s high tariffs. The Central American Bank of Economic Integration (BCIE) pointed to deficient local power installations in each country’s national grid as an obstacle to exchange power (Spanish) and reduce power tariffs.


Puerto Rico will kill coal power generation… Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said the island’s power grid will stop using coal for power by 2020 (English). The integrated resource plan of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) prepared by Siemens considers two different plans, strategies, and scenarios for long-term energy supply (English).


…and Prepa was discussed in the US House. The US House Committee on Natural Resources discussed Prepa’s privatization and its pace toward renewable resources (English). Prepa reached a tentative agreement with the Ad Hoc Group of Insured Bondholders to restructure the US$9bn debt (English).



Old School Social


Events in the world beyond your screen—go see and be seen!


The 62º Congreso Internacional de Agua Saneamiento, Ambiente y Energías Renovables is scheduled for May 29-31 at the Centro de Convenciones Hotel las Américas in Cartagena, Colombia.



Lateral Thinking


Ecofarm’s honey in Jamaica got a huge deal. An MIT-trained engineer created a honey-making enterprise that will expand operations within the Jamaican Deaf Village (English). Ecofarms was contacted by Starbucks, explaining the company is going to Jamaica and wants Ecofarms honey in their stores.



Quote of the Week


“Each of us will have to make the choices that allow us to be the largest versions of ourselves.”



– Julia Álvarez (1950), Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist.




We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or plans for honey businesses to


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