The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean

November 20, 2017 edition—Guatemala is getting a 120MW tender ready; Grand Bahama plans an oil refinery; and Venezuela fell into partial default.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Guatemala prepares a 120MW tender, will have four new sub-stations, and owes Q10.3m in power payments.


Greater Antilles. The Dominican Republic will offer an oil and natural gas exploration tender; the IDB and Jamaica signed an energy management loan; and the PetroCaribe Fund in Haiti showed anomalies.


Lesser Antilles. T&T gas production turned the corner; Grand Bahama is considering an oil refinery; and Limetree Bay is trying to expand the marine terminal in the US Virgin Islands.


Northern South America. Guyana was warned over opportunists in the oil sector; S&P said Venezuela fell in partial default; and Venezuela signed a debt restructuring deal with Russia.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Honduras’ international tender offers (Spanish); IMF’s happiness with the DR growth (English); and the continuing debate on fuel sales in DR gas stations (English).



Political Economy


S&P said Venezuela fell into partial default… According to the international rating agency, Venezuela fell into partial default after failing to pay US$200 million in its global bonds (Spanish). S&P lowered two ratings to D and lowered the rating of the national long-term debt in foreign currency to “SD”.


… and Russia and Venezuela signed a debt restructuring deal. Russia’s Finance Ministry signed a deal to restructure Venezuela’s debt. Venezuela will pay US$3.15bn to Russia over 10 years, with “minimal” payments the first six years (English).


EIB and CDB will chip in US$24m for Caribbean reconstruction. The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have prepared a financing initiative to help the Caribbean region to recover from hurricanes (English). The US$24m package will be added to the US$120m Climate Action Framework Loan II signed in May.


The IDB and Jamaica signed an energy management loan. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the government of Jamaica signed a US$40m loan to finance an energy management and efficiency program (EMEP) (English). The EMEP program will be applied to schools, hospitals and public agencies.


The IDB will help the Dominican Republic improve its productivity. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) okayed a US$300m loan to support productivity improvement in the Dominican Republic (English). The goal of the program will be to modernize the financial system in the medium term, promote labor, and increase exports.



Oil & Gas Upstream


T&T gas production overcame its bad run. Gas production in Trinidad and Tobago is recovering and growing with new gas coming from BP’s Juniper project and  the Trinidad onshore compression (TROC) (English). BP’s gas production is now 10 percent higher than in 2016, and national production reached 3.5 Bcf per day in July 2017.


The DR will offer an oil and natural gas exploration tender. The Energy and Mines Minister will offer oil and natural gas exploration opportunities through contracts with reference terms guaranteed by the state (Spanish). Studies determined that the Dominican Republic has six blocks with hydrocarbon potential but that does not mean they are commercially viable.


T&T Attorney General warned Guyana over opportunists in the oil sector. Trinidad and Tobago’s Attorney General, Faris Al Rawi, advised Guyana to protect itself from opportunists looking to wash dirty money in the oil and gas sector (English). The biggest risk could come from small-scale enterprises.



Oil & Gas Downstream


The PetroCaribe Fund in Haiti showed anomalies. Five senators of the Special Senatorial Commission of Inquiry (CSSE) concluded that the management of the PetroCaribe Fund showed serious anomalies (English). Former Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe rejected the report’s findings which recommended actions against him for alleged fraud (English).


Environmentalists want to convert the DR’s Punta Catalina to a natural gas plant. Environmental organizations and the Santo Domingo State University asked the president, Congress and the state-owned electric utility to transform the Punta Catalina coal-fired power plant to natural gas (English). The proposal was announced at the UN Conference on Climate Change.


Grand Bahama is considering an oil refinery. The Bahamas’ government is “embracing” a possible US$4.5bn oil storage terminal and refinery for east Grand Bahama (English). The first phase of the project will require US$1.5bn of investment for a 20-million-barrel storage facility.


Limetree Bay is trying to expand its marine terminal. Limetree Bay Terminals applied to the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to receive shipments from bulk fuel carriers (VLBFC) without transferring fuel to smaller vessels (English). The application is a step to fulfill Limetree Bay’s 2015 contract with the Virgin Islands government.



Renewables & Electricity


Guatemala prepares a 120MW tender. The Guatemala Power Company has presented before the National Commission of Electric Energy (CNEE) the terms of reference to launch a long-term auction for 120MW in 2018 (Spanish). The terms are being reviewed by the CNEE and, once approved, the auction will be published.


Guatemala has four new sub-stations. The Empresa Transportista Eléctrica Centroamericana (Trelec) will cut the ribbon on four substations, two in GIS Incienso, Antigua and Costa Linda as part of the Plan for the Expansion of the Transport System (PET) with an investment of US$65m (Spanish). Three stations already started operations and the forth will operate in 2018.


Barbados will open its power to independent producers. The Barbados government will allow independent power producers to supply electricity to the national grid (English). Companies will be able to apply for licenses early next year.


CDEEE awarded EGE Haina 40MW. The CDEEE awarded 40MW from a total of 428.6 offered to Empresa de Generación Eléctrica de Haina (EGE Haina) (Spanish). Only one company offered a price under US$8.6 cents, the maximum value at which Edenorte, Edesur, and EdeEste (EDE) would buy.


Guatemala owes Q10.3m in power payments. According to Energuate, the delay in the payment of electricity will affect 1,633 public schools and 679 administrative offices, hospitals and centers (Spanish). The Education Ministry and Health Ministry are the departments which owe the most.



Old School Social


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


The Expo Oil & Gas Colombia is November 22-24 in Bogotá, Colombia.


The América Central Eficiente is November 29-30 at Hotel Las Americas Golden Tower, Panama City, Panama.


The Platts 18th Annual Caribbean Energy Conference is January 25-26 at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Nassau, in The Bahamas. This conference provides an excellent venue to learn what is happening in energy around the Caribbean, and to discuss key opportunities and challenges with industry leaders and colleagues.



Lateral Thinking


Pre-Columbian cave art was found on an uninhabited Caribbean Island. Caves at the island of Mona, between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, contained thousands of indigenous spiritual artwork representing their belief systems and cultural identity (English). For the indigenous peoples, caves represented portals into a spiritual realm.



Quote of the Week


“In America, everything is fantastical.”



– Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980), Cuban novelist and essayist



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