The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean


October 18, 2021 edition–Costa Rica’s generation law; Occidental’s fields; and AET’s LNG plans in Colombia.



Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America. Costa Rica approved the distributed generation law; and the IMF discussed Costa Rica’s energy reforms.


Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. FEMA and PREPA missed a clean energy opportunity; the IDB and Jamaica will boost electric vehicle use; and Cuba’s Manuel de Céspedes thermoelectric plant is back online.


Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. DeNovo is working on the Zandolie Platform; and the first Caribbean AWES is up and running in Aruba.


South America’s Caribbean Coast. Occidental was awarded E&P contracts in Colombia; AET has big plans for Colombia’s LNG; and Guyana’s economy broke all records in 2021.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Karpowership’s plans in the Dominican Republic (BN Americas – English); Colombia’s LNG audit (BN Americas – English); and a thermoelectric plant (Central America Data – Spanish).



Government & NGO


The IMF discussed Costa Rica’s energy reforms. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Costa Rica is advancing its ambitious structural reform agenda to foster strong and inclusive growth in the transition to a low carbon economy (IMF – English).


Guyana’s economy broke all records in 2021. The Caribbean nation grew by 14.5% during the first six months of this year (Nation News – English). The agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries sectors contracted by 2.4% compared with a decline of 4.1% for the same period last year.


The IMF reviewed Jamaica’s economic forecast. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reviewed its forecast for Jamaica’s economic recovery, expecting growth to reach 4.6% in 2021 (Jamaica Observer – English). The figure is up from the 1.5% expansion the IMF forecast in April.


Dominican imports went up 40.36% in August. Dominican customs reported that imports for January-August 2021 reached US$15.3bn, a 40.36% increase compared to the same period in 2020 (Dominican Today – English). Non-oil imports grew 36.49%, from US$9.5bn to US$12.9bn in the same period of 2021.


With more oil discoveries, Guyana wants to settle Venezuela’s dispute. After ExxonMobil announced a new discovery offshore Guyana, Prime Minister Mark Phillips said Guyana remains confident that the International Court of Justice will rule in its favor (Gloucester Times – English). Phillips said there is no telling when the International Court of Justice will issue its ruling.



Oil & Gas Upstream


DeNovo is working on the Zandolie Platform in Trinidad. DeNovo Energy Limited awarded the construction, installation, and commissioning of its Zandolie Platform in Block 1 to United Engineering Services Limited (Energy Now – English). Peterson will partner up with DeNovo for the Zandolie Development Project (Energy Now – English).


Occidental was awarded E&P contracts in Colombia. Occidental Petroleum plans to invest $1.4B in Colombia after signing exploration and production contracts for four offshore blocks (Seeking Alpha – English). The four blocks are located off the Caribbean coast and cover 3.9M acres.


Trinity Exploration celebrates Trinidad & Tobago’s budget… Trinity Exploration & Production PLC welcomed the Caribbean nation’s intention to stimulate higher levels of activity and investment in the energy sector as was stated in the 2021 budget (Morning Star – English).


…and Heritage is also happy with the budget. The chairman of the Heritage Petroleum Company said visible efforts are being made to make use of current energy resources while investing in alternative sources of energy going forward (News Day – English).



Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream


Colombia reviewed E&P and fuel transport. The Energy Ministry overhauled rules for the suspension and abandonment of oil and gas wells and published a decree with new requirements for the transportation of liquid fuels (BN Americas – English). The document can be reviewed by public consultation until October 23.


Guyana cut taxes on fuels. The Caribbean nation announced a further cut on fuel prices eight months after reducing the excise tax on fuel (Nation News – English). The excise tax rate on both gasoline and diesel was cut from 35% to 20%.


China wants Latin American oil. During August 2021, China bought 10.49 million barrels of crude oil per day, an increase of 8% over July but still 6% less than the 11.18 million barrels per day imported for the same month in 2020. China is responsible for 11% of Colombia’s exports and 23% of its imports by value (Oil Price – English).



Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG


Colombia will have a natural gas pipeline ring. The Caribbean nation is developing a pipeline project that will guarantee a medium-long term natural gas supply both to the residential and industrial sectors in the north, east, center, and south of the country (Portafolio – Spanish).


FEMA and PREPA missed a clean energy opportunity. FEMA ignored Puerto Rico’s chance to build a clean energy sector, deciding to invest US$9.4bn in fossil fuel infrastructure instead. PREPA and Luma’s plan includes reconstructing Puerto Rico’s transmission lines and building two new natural gas-fired power plants (Common Dreams – English).


Colombia prepares six pipeline projects. Colombia is preparing six natural gas pipeline projects to reinforce fossil fuel supply (BN Americas – English). The works would likely be carried out initially by the incumbent operator of the corresponding transport system.


AET has big plans for Colombia’s LNG. Andes Energy Terminal plans to build an LNG regasification terminal and a 400MW thermoelectric plant on the Colombian Pacific coast (BN Americas – English). The project will not depend on the UPME tender.


Colombia is adding new natural gas users. Colombia went from having 8.6 million natural gas residential clients in 2016 to 10.2 million in 2020 (El Heraldo – Spanish). Still, 6 million people in Colombia cook with wood (Portfolio – Spanish).



Electric Power & Renewables


Costa Rica approved the distributed generation law. The Central American nation approved the promotion of distributed energy resources generation through renewable sources (PV Magazine – Spanish). The country plans to reach and maintain power generation that is 100% renewable by 2030.


The IDB and Jamaica will boost electric vehicle use. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Jamaica’s government will speed up the use of electric vehicles, funding an electric mobility ecosystem and technical assistance and training for battery electric technologies (BEVs) (Jamaica Observer – English).


The first Caribbean AWES is up and running in Aruba. Kitepower’s mobile Airborne Wind Energy System (AWES), the Falcon 100kW, has been deployed as part of the “Caribbean Engineer 2021,” a military exercise carried out by the Dutch defense near the area of Vader Piet, Aruba (MENAFN – English).


Colombia will focus on hydrogen. Promigas is one of eight companies that signed a letter showing interest in exploring projects and investments in hydrogen (Valora Analitik – Spanish). By 2030, Colombia plans to generate between US$2.5bn and US$5.5bn worth of hydrogen (America Economía – Spanish).


Cuba’s Manuel de Céspedes thermoelectric plant is back online. Unit 4 of the Manuel de Céspedes thermoelectric plant is back online. The plant has now recovered part of the generation capacity the National Electric System needs, with a 600MW thermal generation deficit (Granma – 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 Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum is scheduled for October 27-28.



Lateral Thinking


Panamá’s indigenous women will power up their communities. Panamá’s Energy Minister and Barefoot College International signed a Memorandum of Understanding to start the program “Solar Engineers” (PV Magazine – Spanish). The program will teach 25 women from rural communities to use solar power.



Quote of the Week


“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”



– Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), Colombian novelist and Nobel Prize in Literature.



We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or solar energy lessons to


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