The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


October 15, 2018 edition–Honduras got 35MW of sun; Frontera found oil; and Kosmos keeps looking.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Honduras’ Los Prados PV plant is up and running; diesel prices hit land transportation in Nicaragua; and the IMF is worried about Nicaragua’s economic growth.


Greater Antilles. Haiti was struck by a deadly earthquake; GB Energy Jamaica and Texaco will power up autos with LPG; and the Dominican Republic’s Monte Grande dam will be finished by 2020.


Lesser Antilles. The Parkland Fuel Corporation has an eye set on SOL; Bahamians are paying the cost of fires in their power tariffs; and St. Kitts-Nevis has a 60% debt to GDP ratio.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Kosmos plans more drilling in Suriname; Frontera Energy found black gold in Colombia; and Venezuela’s inflation may reach 4,300,000% by the end of the year.



Political Economy


Venezuela got in even deeper trouble. Venezuela’s inflation is expected to close the year at almost 4,300,000% (Spanish). According to the authorities, an opposition politician killed himself jumping out of a window while in jail, while his party said he was killed (English).


The IMF is hopeful for the Dominican Republic, not so much for Nicaragua. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) kept the Dominican Republic’s 2018 economic growth forecast at 6.4%, the highest growth for the entire continent (English). Meanwhile, Nicaragua will not grow at 4% until 2022 (Spanish).


St. Kitts-Nevis has a 60% debt to GDP ratio. Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said St. Kitts and Nevis has a 60% debt to GDP ratio and financial surpluses (English). The goal was achieved thanks to a substantial payment of US$36.2m for a debt swap arrangement with the national bank.


Haiti was struck by a deadly earthquake. Fifteen people died and 333 people were injured after a 5.9 earthquake struck the north coast of Haiti (English). Thousands of people slept outdoors in fear of aftershocks and are waiting for aid from the civil protection agency.



Oil & Gas Upstream


The BPC is still optimistic on oil exploration. The Bahamas Petroleum Company published its financial results and noted the three-month exclusive talks as a positive despite the failure to reach a joint venture agreement for the first well, emphasizing the discussions have restarted (English).


Two local Guyana companies are internationally certified. Guysons Oil and Gas Services and Guysons Engineering can tender for internationally based oil and gas projects (English). Both companies can now deliver products and services that meet customer expectations and all legal and regulatory requirements.


Kosmos plans more drilling in Suriname. After failing to find commercial hydrocarbons, Kosmos Energy will P&A its Pontoenoe-1 exploration well offshore Suriname (English). Although the well found a good quality reservoir, the exploration objective was water bearing and the test failed due to a lack of trap.


Frontera Energy found black gold in Colombia. The Canadian Frontera Energy Corporation made a light oil discovery in the Los Llanos region in Colombia (English). The fourth discovery in 2018 came at the Acorazado-1 and will support its plans to drill 34 more wells this year.



Oil & Gas Downstream


GB Energy Jamaica and Texaco will power up autos with LPG. GB Energy Jamaica has experimented with liquid petroleum gas and plans to span the Texaco network in partnership with Jamaica’s Tecnigas (English). Tecnigas specializes in LPG vehicle conversion and the distribution of LPG parts for industrial and commercial use.


Diesel prices hit land transportation in Nicaragua. The international land transportation sector has put up with high diesel prices. High diesel prices could increase the cost of cargoes (Spanish).


The Parkland Fuel Corporation has an eye on SOL. The Canadian Parkland Fuel Corporation reached an agreement with Barbados’ SOL Investments Limited (SIL) to acquire 75% of its operations (English). SIL supplies 4.8bn liters of fuel volume annually in 23 countries in the Caribbean.


Petrotrin’s injunction was lifted. A court has lifted the imposed injunction against the state-owned Petrotrin that prevented the termination of 5,000 employees (English). Petrotrin can now resume the distribution of termination packages to workers.


A lawsuit may delay a Colombian LNG regasification plant. A lawsuit may stop the construction of a regasification plant on the Pacific coast of Colombia, a US$700m project (Spanish). The previous decree authorized a private investor to construct a terminal to import natural gas and regasify it.



Renewables & Electricity


Bahamians are paying for the cost of fires in their power tariffs. Bahamian businesses and households are paying for the recent fires at Bahamas Power & Light’s Clifton Pier plant with higher electricity bills (English). The damaged engines typically generate 25% of New Providence’s energy supply.


The PREB did not okay Prepa’s rate drops. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) did not inform the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB) of the cut in energy rates (English). The PREB gave Prepa until October 31 to file a detailed work plan with deadlines.


The DR’s Monte Grande dam will be finished by 2020. Lawmakers said the construction on the dam at Monte Grande continues at a good pace and will be finished in April 2020 (English). Recent rains over the Central Mountains have raised the water levels of the Caribbean’s biggest hydroelectric complex, the Tavera-Bao dam (English).


The Cayman Islands have big plans for their energy future. The Cayman Islands electricity supply is currently less than 5% from renewables but could reach 70% in 20 years (English). Analysts recommend that it reduce its dependency on electricity generated from imported fuels, like the Caribbean Utilities Company’s 161MW diesel plant.


Bermuda may suffer outages, but will soon count on wind. Belco announced customers may experience power outages due to the industrial action with the Electrical Supply Trade Union (English). The BE Solar report includes an offshore wind farm as a centerpiece of the plan (English).


Honduras’ Los Prados is up and running. The 35MW Los Prados solar power plant owned by Scatec Solar and Norfund is connected to Honduras’ grid (English). The Los Prados project has a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica (ENEE).



Old School Social


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


Energía Colombia 2018 is scheduled for October 23-24 at the J. W. Marriott Bogotá in Bogotá, Colombia.


The Renewable Energy Training Course in Photovoltaics and Bio-Energy will be held October 29-November 2 at the Wigton Windfarm Office in Jamaica.



Lateral Thinking


A Maya civilization was discovered beneath the Guatemalan jungle. More than 61,000 ancient Maya structures were found beneath the jungle in Guatemala, revealing information on the ancient culture’s infrastructure, politics, and economy (English). Researchers mapped the terrain with light detection and ranging, or lidar.



Quote of the Week


“Concentration’s like a shower. You don’t turn it on until you want to bathe… You don’t walk out of the shower and leave it running. You turn it off, you turn it on… It has to be fresh and ready when you need it.”



– Garfield Sobers (1936), former cricketer who played for the West Indies between 1954 and 1974 and is considered to be the cricket’s greatest all-rounder.



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