The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


July 8, 2019 edition– Honduras’ fuel supply tender; Martinique’s Galion 2 opens; and Colombia’s oil outpaced Venezuela.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Honduras will offer a tender to supply fuel and lubricants; Guatemala’s CNEE set Energuate’s distribution added value; BAM will fund El Salvador’s first wind park.


Greater Antilles. The Dominican Republic is trapped between the Paris Agreement and fuel exploration; EFF Solar SA started its first solar park in Cuba; and Puerto Rico is going after fraudulent fuel payments.


Lesser Antilles. Martinique’s Albioma Galion 2 is up and running; Belco will make Hamilton pay for power lines; and Trinidad and Tobago’s refinery hasn’t been leased to a foreign company (yet).


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Colombia’s oil production surpassed Venezuela’s; Anadarko returned Ecopetrol’s blocks; and Guyana was named the world’s fastest growing economy.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Odebrecht’s bribes (English); Punta Catalina’s low production (English);

and the Caribbean bunker fuel market (English).


Political Economy


Guyana was named the world’s fastest growing economy. NASDAQ has named Guyana the fastest growing economy in the world, with a forecasted growth rate of 16.3% from 2018 to 2021. Guyana’s economy is expected to grow 4.6% in 2019 and by 33.5% in 2020 thanks to ExxonMobil’s discoveries (English).


The IMF visited the Bahamas and Grenada. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the Bahamas’ growth to reach 1.8% in 2019, before easing to 1.5% in the medium term (English). According to the IMF, Grenada’s growth will remain above potential in 2019, but it is also projected to ease over the medium term (English).


President Tsai Ing-wen will visit the Caribbean. The President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, will visit Haiti, St Christopher and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Lucia, the Caribbean countries with diplomatic ties with Taiwan, from July 11-22 (English). The goal of the visit is to strengthen the ties between Taiwan and its Caribbean allies.


Moody’s trusts Barbados’ debt reduction. Moody’s upgraded Barbados’ ratings on foreign and local currency to Caa3 as a result of the improvement in the country’s fiscal and debt metrics (English). Moody’s expects the government to bring public debt down to 60% of GDP by 2033.


Puerto Rico and the fiscal board debated the 2020 budget. The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico certified a fiscal year 2020 consolidated budget of US$20.2bn. The government presented a budget that included US$380m more in spending than the board’s version (English).



Oil & Gas Upstream


The Dominican Republic is trapped between the Paris Agreement and fuel exploration. The National Committee to Combat Climate Change (CNLCC) warned the Caribbean nation will abandon the Paris Agreement by bidding off blocks to explore for fossil fuels. The CNLCC considered the 25% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 incompatible with hydrocarbons exploration (English).


Colombia’s oil production surpassed Venezuela’s in May. Colombia’s Mines and Energy Ministry announced that oil production increased 3.3% in May compared with the same period in 2018, an average of 894,518 barrels per day (English). PDVSA has reduced its output to 874,500 barrels per day (English).


OPEC extended its production cut, mostly from Venezuela and Iran. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries extended its production cut agreement by nine months. Venezuela’s and Iran’s production and exports are at very low levels already, and Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members are carrying the remaining burden (English).


Anadarko returned Ecopetrol’s blocks. After seven years of partnership, Anadarko returned the last of the three blocks that the company was developing and operating in the Caribbean (Spanish). The reason could be the reorganization process of its international portfolio, which has been managed by Oxy.



Oil & Gas Downstream


Honduras will offer a tender to supply fuel and lubricants. The National Company of Power Energy will tender the supply of fuel and lubricant oil to generate power in different plants in Honduras (Spanish). The deadline to present offers is August 6, 2019.


Trinidad and Tobago’s refinery has not (yet) been leased to a foreign company. The Energy and Energy Industries Ministry said that despite what the President General of the OWTU said, there is no conclusion that the winner of the refinery bid will be a foreign company, as the process has not finished yet (English).


Puerto Rico is going after utility fuel suppliers over fraudulent payments. The Special Claims Committee of the Financial Oversight and Management Board filed a complaint against certain fuel suppliers and laboratories to recover billions of dollars in fraudulent payments made by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa). Between 2002 and 2015, several fuel suppliers received “massive overpayments” from Prepa while not meeting contractual specifications (English).


The Caño Limón pipeline was attacked for the second time in a week. A bomb attack on the Caño Limón pipeline produced a small crude oil spill contained in the crater left by the explosion (English). The second attack also hit the pipeline in eastern Arauca province, but the pipeline was not operating at the time of the attack.


Guatemala pays more for gasoline. The Energy and Mines Ministry said there was an increase of almost one quetzal per gallon of hydrocarbons in the country due to the US and Iran’s tensions and the start of the holiday season in the US (Spanish).


Texaco will return to Puerto Rico. Chevron announced that the Texaco brand will return to the Puerto Rican fuel market (Spanish). Texaco will offer regular and premium gasoline and diesel in all its gas stations on the island.



Renewables & Electricity


Martinique’s Albioma Galion 2 is up and running. The 40MW renewable energy plant of Albioma Galion 2 is in operation (French). The plant produces 100% renewable energy using biofuel from husks, among other sources, contributing to the grid’s stability (French).


Belco won the fight with Hamilton over power lines. Bermuda’s Court of Appeal ruled that the Corporation of Hamilton will have to cover the cost of placing power lines underground in the city (English). The judge said the replacement of overhead lines was not a “relocation.”


The CNEE set Energuate’s distribution added value. Guatemala’s National Commission of Power Energy (CNEE) established the distribution added value that Energuate could include in the final bill (Spanish). Distributing companies will be forced to present the progress of their investments in reducing losses.


EGE Haina will start using natural gas. EGE Haina agreed with the State Electric Utility (CDEEE) to convert the 225MW Quisqueya 2 power plant to natural gas by 2020 (English) (Spanish). EGE Haina said the agreement is consistent with the company’s sustainable development strategy.


BAM will fund El Salvador’s first wind park. Banco Agromercantil (BAM) announced its support of the Ventus project, the first wind park in El Salvador, together with Banco Agrícola de El Salvador (Spanish). BAM approved a US$42.75m loan for the construction of the 54MW park located in the Metapán municipality.


EFF Solar SA started its first solar park in Cuba. The German company launched the construction of the 5MW solar plant to be built in San Antonio de las Vegas (English). The park will be operational this year and is the first of seven that will be incorporated gradually into the power system.



Old School Social


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


The 6th Geothermal Congress for Latin America and the Caribbean will be held July 17-18 at the W Santiago, in Santiago.



Lateral Thinking


Students at PCJ Schools Energy Programme Competitions got big prizes. The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Schools Energy Programme finished the year with 90 students receiving cash and other prices valued at over J$3m during the competitions (English). The prizes included technical support to execute an energy efficiency and conservation project at Cornwall College.



Quote of the Week


“Art should be an oasis: a place or refuge from the hardness of life.”


– Fernando Botero (1932), Colombian figurative artist.



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