The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean

July 31, 2017 edition





Political Economy


The Bahamas’ Central Bank allied with the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Bahamas’ Central Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with the Commonwealth Secretariat to jointly fund technical assistance to modernize the legal framework for the Bahamas’ government debt (English). The implementation of the technical assistance will begin in September 2017.


Moody’s raised the Dominican Republic’s rating. The international rating agency upgraded the Dominican Republic’s long-term rating from B1 to Ba3 (English). Moody’s recognized the high economic growth and the reduction of the fiscal deficit and external vulnerabilities in the past four years.


The World Bank backs developing countries with US$59bn. The World Bank is fighting poverty and promoting opportunity with approximately US$59bn in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees in developing countries in 2017 (English). The goal is to fight crises such as climate change, famine, and forced displacement.


Antigua & Barbuda and St Kitts- & Nevis joined OAS business development projects. The governments of Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis signed a memorandum with the Organization of Americans States (OAS) to implement a project to develop a Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) model (English). The projects could improve productivity and economic growth.



Oil & Gas Upstream


ExxonMobil hit black gold again in Guyana. The US oil giant discovered approximately 500 million oil-equivalent barrels in the Payara reservoir (English). Exxon drilled to 19,068 feet 12 miles northwest of the Liza phase 1 project on the Stabroek Block, 130 miles offshore Guyana.


Youth wanted in the Barbados’ offshore oil sector. The Minister of Culture, Sports & Youth announced the potential for youths to be employed in the offshore oil sector in Barbados (English). The Minister assured that training Barbados’ young people within the offshore drilling arena will be necessary for the economy.


The IMF will help guide Guyana’s oil industry development. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is offering technical assistance to Guyana’s government for developing its oil and gas industry (English). The IMF team will meet stakeholders involved in oil revenue management and offer input on the planned Sovereign Wealth Fund.



Oil & Gas Downstream


JPS approved a hybrid energy storage solution. The JPS Board of Directors approved the first hybrid energy storage of its kind in the Caribbean to secure grid stability and reliability if solar and wind systems lose power (English). A 24.5MW facility will be built at the Hunts Bay Power Plant Sub-station.


LNG may be Bermuda’s future. Mary Hemmingsen, global LNG leader at KPMG, recommended LNG as a clean option for Bermuda’s energy industry (English). The increase of liquefied natural gas use as a fuel and important natural gas reserves in North America make it an ideal replacement for oil-based fuels.


Cayman Island firefighters faced a fuel tank fire. A tank at the bulk fuel depot challenged firefighters tasked with containing and tackling the fire (English). Firefighters used thermal imaging and cooling water jets to put the fire out.



Renewables & Electricity


Edenorte’s maintenance will affect Santiago, DR. The maintenance service in the La Gallera de Santiago substation will leave without power certain sectors for most of the day (Spanish). The maintenance work will be developed in the GALL 102 and GALL 103 circuits, affecting Cecara, Las Cayenas, Los Jardines Metropolitanos, and Pueblo Nuevo.


A power pact in the Dominican Republic is close. The deputy president of the Dominican Electrical Industry Association, Manuel Cabral, assured a power pact of minimum agreements will be signed soon (Spanish). The pact will include tariff prices, loss reduction goals, subsidies, and expenses’ limits.


The Crie will force Guatemala to pay. This year Guatemala surpassed in several occasions the 120MW limit on power imported from Mexico, imposed by the Regional Operator (EOR) (Spanish). The Wholesale Electricity Market Administrator demanded that Guatemala assume the costs to the regional system, estimated at US$4.5m.


Clean Green Energy won a 40MW wind park license. Panama’s National Authority of Public Services awarded Clean Green Energy a license to construct and operate a 40 MW wind park in the Colon province (Spanish). The project’s license will be valid for twelve months.


Panamá published its national grid expansion plan. Etesa prepared an Expansion Plan of the National Grid System 2017-2031 with demand projections estimating a 5.5%-6.1% annual increase (Spanish). The maximum power demand could grow between 5.2% and 5.5% depending on the socioeconomic outlook.


Old School Social


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


The Program on “The Transformational Economy: Perspectives and Opportunities for Guyana’s Private Sector” is September 25-26 at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, Georgetown.


The Jamaica’s first Conference on Natural Gas is October 4-6 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.



Lateral Thinking


A photographer caught some whales napping. Off the coast of the Caribbean island Dominica, Franco Banfi, photographer captured the moment sperm whales slept at 65ft under water (English). Long sperm whales sleep vertically for between six to 25 minutes at any one time, spending 10% of their time sleeping.



Quote of the Week


“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”



-Bob Marley (1945-1981), Jamaican musician, songwriter, and singer




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