The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


July 19, 2020 edition–El Salvador’s wind; Trinidad & Tobago’s gas; and Guyana’s gas-to-shore project.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Energy Transfer is considering Panamá’s LPG assets; El Salvador’s first wind plant comes online; and New Fortress Energy has big plans in Nicaragua.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. The Dominican Republic okayed a new solar plant; and Cuba’s protests made an impact.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Trinidad will have new gas in August; and Trinity maintains strong production levels in Trinidad & Tobago.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Guyana looks for investors for its gas-to-shore project; GlobalData believes in Suriname’s oil future; and the US Treasury is okay with LPG exports to Venezuela.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in New Fortress Energy’s LNG supply (Businesswire – English); an LNG-funded hotel (Tribune242 – English); and Venezuela’s blended oil (Reuters – English).



Government & NGO


Cuba’s protests made an impact. Cuba’s communist rulers said the anti-government protests were “organized and financed” from the US (BBC – English). Cuba announced on Wednesday it was temporarily lifting restrictions on the amount of food and medicine travelers could bring into the country in an apparent small concession to protesters’ demands.


Haiti hunts the men who killed the president. Haiti’s forces fought a fierce gun battle with assailants who assassinated President Jovenel Moise at his home overnight (Reuters – English). The gunmen were masquerading as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents.


Guatemala increased COVID-19 restrictions. The Guatemalan government declared a “state of prevention” for the entire country, limiting outdoor meetings and public demonstrations after an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases (Reuters – English). Guatemala reported 3,000 new infections of COVID-19 last Thursday, its highest number of infections in a single day.


The Dominican Republic increased wages to fight inflation. The National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP) welcomed the non-sectorized minimum wage adjustment, the result of a dialogue between the government and the employer sector (Dominican Today – English). The adjustment announced today compensates for the effects of inflation for 3 years.



Oil & Gas Upstream


GlobalData believes in Suriname’s oil future. According to GlobalData, Suriname shows promise to become an oil production hot spot in the near to mid-term (Hellenic Shipping News – English). TotalEnergies and Apache Corp. expect first production to start as early as 2025.


Trinidad will have new gas in August… The Coho asset of Touchstone Exploration in Trinidad & Tobago is expected to start natural gas production as early as August (BN Americas – English). Production is forecast at 10MMcf/d and will supply the National Gas Company (NGC) of Trinidad and Tobago.


…and Trinity maintains strong production levels in Trinidad & Tobago. Trinity updated the market on its operations for the last quarter and, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, production levels remained “resilient” during the second quarter, with volumes averaging 3,047 barrels of oil per day, compared to 3,107 in the first quarter (Sharecast – English).



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


The US Treasury is okay with LPG exports to Venezuela. The US Treasury department allowed US companies to export or re-export LPG supplies to Venezuela (Platts – English). A propane shortage in Venezuela forced many people to turn to wood stoves for cooking food.


The Dominican Republic sent a cooking gas shipment to Haiti. The Dominican government ordered the passage of 20 tanks of propane gas to Haiti due to the total shortage of the fuel (Dominican Today – English). The Minister of Industry and Commerce reported that Haiti was already short on supply.


Venezuela’s oil exports went up in June. The PDVSA’s data showed a 6.5% increase in oil exports in June thanks to shipments to China disguised as Malaysian bitumen blends ahead of a June 12 Chinese tax (Stabroek News – English).


Energy Transfer is considering Panamá’s LPG assets. The Republic of Panamá and Energy Transfer LP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to study the feasibility of joint participation in a proposed Trans-Panama Gateway Pipeline project (OGJ – English). The project includes the development, construction, and operation of a terminal on the Pacific side and on the Atlantic side.



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


More LNG is crossing the Panama Canal. LNG tanker transits through the Panama Canal recorded a 12% increase from October through June compared with the same period a year earlier (Platts – English). That includes a traditionally slow demand period during the spring.


Guyana looks for investors for its gas-to-shore project. The government of the Caribbean nation is seeking investors for all aspects of the US$900m gas-to-shore project that will be located at Wales, West Bank Demerara (Stabroek News – English). Guyana has approved what it called the Wales Development Zone as the termination point for the pipeline.


New Fortress Energy has big plans in Nicaragua. The company plans to build a plant that will generate 300MW with natural gas (Central America Data – Spanish). ENATREL will oversee the interconnection with Nicaragua’s grid and the Central American system.


AES believes the LNG market got complicated in the region. According to AES, the presence of LNG terminals in Central America and the Caribbean has increased the availability of natural gas and aggressive competition (BN Americas – English). There are operating terminals in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Panamá, and Puerto Rico, and there is infrastructure under development in El Salvador and Nicaragua.



Electric Power & Renewables


Colombia’s sun is in demand. Celsia launched operation of its 9.8MW El Carmelo solar farm in Colombia (Renewables Now – English). The new solar farm will generate 3.7MW for the national grid and 6.1MW for a factory of chicken meat producer Pollos Bucanero.


El Salvador’s first wind plant came online. The 54MW Ventus wind farm located in the Metapan municipality in the Santa Ana department came online (Renewables Now – English). Tracia Network Corporation and ArcVera Renewables announced that the project was successfully commissioned.


Panamá will have a new solar plant. Keira Development is promoting the construction of a solar power plant  (Central America Data – Spanish). The project’s construction will take 34 months and it will operate for 25 years.


The Dominican Republic okayed a new solar plant. The National Energy Commission and Maranatha Energy Investment signed the contract for a solar plant in Santo Domingo Este. The plant will have a capacity of 10MW/11,18 MWp (PV Magazine – Spanish).



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 8th Geothermal Congress for Latin America and the Caribbean will be held on September 8-10.



Lateral Thinking


A Costa Rican hotel will be self-powered. A Marriott hotel in Costa Rica is installing a microgrid, a first for the chain in the region (Microgrid Knowledge – English). The project includes 250kW of solar, a 360-kW/720-kWh battery storage system, and a 1 MVA backup generator.



Quote of the Week


“Todo cambia y nada permanece. Y no habría belleza, ni danza, ni movimiento si las estaciones no alborotaran los colores y el follaje de los arboles no se desprendiera amarillo en el atardecer.”


“Everything changes and nothing remains. And there would be no beauty, no dance, no movements if the seasons did not disrupt the colors and if the foliage of the trees did not spread yellow into the sunset.”



– Gioconda Belli (1948), Nicaraguan author, novelist, and poet.




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