The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


November 1, 2021 edition–Suriname’s solar; Guyana’s fast oil; and an underwater pipeline.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. The COVID-19 crisis hit Latin America and the Caribbean the hardest.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Haiti suffers a fuel shortage; BPL and Shell’s deal was “oblique”; and LUMA was awarded 38 new projects.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Bermuda was asked to be an environmental role model.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Guyana plans an underwater pipeline; Colombia’s Pacific LNG regasification plant bid was voided; and Iranian condensate touched Venezuelan soil.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in the Dominican Republic’s gas to power project (BN Americas – English); the Central American pipeline project (La Tribuna – Spanish); and the Dominican Republic’s renewables contracts (Dominican Today – English).



Government & NGO


Bonaire had a good 2019, St Eustatius and Saba did not. In 2019, Bonaire’s GDP increased by 6.3%, while on St Eustatius and Saba, GDP fell by 8.6% and 5.3%, respectively (CBS – English). Construction, accommodation and food services, and trade grew on Bonaire.


The Dominican Republic promised no tax increases. President Luis Abinader announced that there will be no tax reform and the focus will be on consolidating economic recovery (Dominican Today – English). Different sectors and the opposition parties had expressed their rejection of a tax increase.


Colombian companies will be greener. Approximately 103 companies from the public and private sector agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to become carbon neutral by 2050 (Portafolio – Spanish). The goal is to estimate the companies’ carbon footprint and design a strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions.


The COVID-19 crisis hit Latin America and the Caribbean the hardest. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reported that the region was the most affected in the developing world by the pandemic, with a drop in 2020 of -6.8% (News Day – English). ECLAC forecasts 5.9% growth for the region in 2021.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Exxon will work hard in Guyana with a second production unit. ExxonMobil’s second floating production system for Guyana arrived in the Caribbean (Reuters – English). The production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility is expected to add 220,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production capacity to Guyana’s current 120,000 bpd output.


Guyana will boost oil production “quickly.” Guyana vows to exploit its hydrocarbon resources as fast as possible while committing to sustainable development (Argus Media – English). The money from oil and gas will help the Caribbean nation decarbonize.



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Guyana may renegotiate oil supply with India. Guyana may resume talks with India for a deal to sell the Caribbean nation’s share of crude as output increases next year (Reuters – English). Earlier in the year, negotiations on a term supply agreement stalled on price and other contract terms.


Venezuela will up the subsidized gasoline price. Venezuela increased the price of subsidized gasoline for vehicles and motor bikes due to the recent cutting of six zeros from the local currency (Reuters – English). PDVSA did not specify if prices for gasoline sold in foreign currency will also be adjusted.


Iranian condensate touched Venezuelan soil. A 2.1 million-barrel cargo of Iranian condensate began discharging at a PDVSA port (Reuters – English). President Nicolas Maduro’s administration has received food, refinery parts, condensate, and fuel from Iran while sending crude oil and other commodities to its ally.


Haiti suffers a fuel shortage. Haitians have taken to the streets of Port-au-Prince due to high prices and fuel shortages (Albawaba – English). The fuel shortage is affecting power supplies in hospitals and homes (Dominican Today – English).


Citgo made some changes to keep creditors calm. Citgo representatives met US officials in Bogotá to extend Washington’s protection while pursuing negotiations with creditors (Reuters – English). Citgo plans to name two of its executives as new members to its board of directors (Reuters – English).



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Guyana plans an underwater pipeline. Guyana will begin building a major gas-powered plant in 2022 on the expectation that a 220km pipeline will be built (World Oil – English) (World Energy Trade – Spanish). The start date of laying the pipeline is being finalized.


Colombia’s Pacific LNG regasification plant bid was voided. The Unit of Energy and Mines Planning of Colombia (Upme) voided the call for the choice of an investor for an LNG storage service close to Buenaventura’s port (Portafolio – Spanish).


Asoenergía warned of Colombian natural gas needs. Asoenergía said Colombia must define a policy to guarantee natural gas supply (Infobae – Spanish). Colombia has become an example of natural gas growth as at least eight out of 10 homes use it daily (La República – Spanish).


Carnival cut the ribbon on an LNG-powered ship. Carnival Cruise Line christened its Mardi Gras cruise ship, the first in its American fleet to be powered by LNG (Natural Gas World – English). The vessel was built by Finland’s Meyer Turku, which cut the first piece of steel for a second LNG-powered cruise ship for Carnival, Carnival Celebration, in January.



Electric Power & Renewables


BPL and Shell’s deal was “oblique.” A report by international consultants revealed that even BPL’s members questioned the transparency of a process that awarded a contract to Shell to install 220MW in new generation capacity (Tribune 242 – English). The project attracted 19 total bids.


Suriname will shine bright. Suriname will build a floating solar farm on the ocean around its coastline (Nearshore Americas – English). The solar program is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the bank will provide technical assistance.


Colombia cut the ribbon on its largest solar plant. AES inaugurated and put into operation the San Fernando Solar Park, the largest solar project in Colombia (PV Magazine – English). The new solar complex has 61MW of installed capacity and the electricity produced will go to Ecopetrol (Renewables Now – English).


LUMA was awarded 38 new projects. Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) announced the approval of 38 projects for LUMA: 26 substation projects, 11 transmission projects, and one for telecommunications (The Weekly Journal – English). The projects will cost approximately US$652.58m.


Celsia and Ecoener will enjoy Colombia’s sun. Ecoener won 35MW of solar power capacity in Colombia’s renewable energy auction (Renewables Now – English). Celsia placed 225GWh of electricity per year under off-take contracts in the same auction (Renewables Now – English).


Bermuda was asked to be an environmental role model. Ahead of the UN Global Climate Change conference, the Bermuda Clean Air Coalition asked the Caribbean nation’s government to be a role model in the fight against climate change (Royal Gazette – English).



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 Caribbean ESG & Climate Financing Summit is scheduled for November 17-18.


The Hydrogen Training Series for Latin America & the Caribbean will be held November 23.



Lateral Thinking


Sugar will power up Barbados. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced plans to diversify Barbados’ sugar factory portfolio to include energy (Barbados Advocate – English). The current model of sugar production is not sustainable as the selling price for the commodity is lower than the production cost.



Quote of the Week


“And immediately we rushed like horses, wild with the knowledge of this song, and bolted into a startingly loud harmony.”



– Austin Clarke (1936-2016), Barbadian novelist, essayist, and short story writer.



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