The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean

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September 20, 2021 edition–Trinidad & Tobago’s natural gas production; Panamá’s LNG plant; and Venezuela’s oil law.

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Last Week in a Minute or Less

 

Central America. Ecuador and Guatemala reached a trade agreement; AES now owns the rest of Panamá’s LNG-powered plant; and the IMF reviewed Honduras’ economy.

 

Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. Cuba’s power relies on imported fuels; Puerto Rico turns to renewables to fight blackouts; and Jamaica and the IDB will define renewables.

 

Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Trinidad & Tobago speeds up gas production; Barbados will follow the “Norwegian model”; and Guadeloupe’s geothermal needs communication work done.

 

South America’s Caribbean Coast. Guyana pledges fair play for its oil terminal; Enel Green Power got the green light for a solar project in Colombia; and Venezuela’s oil law reform will have to wait until 2022.

 

Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Punta Catalina’s report (Dominican Today – English); Trinidad & Tobago and Atlantic LNG’s talks (Argus Media – English); and the US’ assistance on renewable capacity (Jamaica Observer – English).

 

 

Government & NGO

 

The IMF reviewed Honduras’ economy. The IMF argued Honduras needs sustained efforts and steadfast implementation of structural reforms, especially in the governance and financial management of the electricity sector (IMF – English). The completion of the review enables an immediate disbursement of SDR 87.4 million.

 

CARICOM backed up Guyana in the conflict with Venezuela. The Caribbean community reiterated their “firm and unwavering support” for Guyana in its border dispute with Venezuela (Loop News – English). CARICOM also reaffirmed their “support for the ongoing judicial process of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)” that intends to end the controversy between the nations.

 

S&P warned El Salvador over bitcoin’s effect on its rating. The international rating agency said El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin as legal tender has negative implications for its credit rating (Reuters – English). The risks associated with its adoption as legal tender seem to outweigh its benefits.

 

Ecuador and Guatemala reached a trade agreement. Both Latin American nations ended negotiations to broaden their trade agreement signed in 2013 (El Comercio – Spanish). The agreement will allow new products to be sold without duties and establish new businesses.

 

 

Oil & Gas Upstream

 

Venezuela’s oil law reform will have to wait until 2022. The president of the Energy and Oil Committee at the Venezuela National Assembly said the Caribbean nation will not reform the hydrocarbons law this year (Reuters – English). The reform would allow for new business models in the oil sector.

 

Ecopetrol’s oil field was attacked with explosives. Two explosives were detonated in the oil field La Cira Infantas, located in Barrancabermeja, Santander (Radio Santa Fé – Spanish). One of the events took place at the pipeline, producing a fire. The oil field is the oldest in the country, at 103 years old.

 

Guyana pledges fair play for its oil terminal. The Caribbean nation approved a US$600m onshore oil terminal and promised fair play for foreign contractors. The US had complained that several companies suffered procurement procedures, lengthy permitting, and uncertain approval processes (Argus Media – English).

 

Heritage is managing a Point Fortin oil spill. Heritage Petroleum Company Limited deployed specialized spill response teams to clean up an oil leak in Point Ligoure, Point Fortin (Loop News – English). The company received a report of oil accumulation along a municipal drain.

 

Trinidad & Tobago will speed up gas production. The Caribbean nation is expected to contribute with 25% of the Americas natural gas production in 2025 (Offshore-Mag – English). Of the seven natural gas projects expected to start operations in the Caribbean nation during 2021-2025, Colibri and Matapal could collectively contribute around 58% of the country’s gas production in 2025.

 

 

Liquid Fuels Mid-Downstream

 

The US government shielded Citgo from bondholders. The US Treasury extended the suspension of a 2018 license for PdV2020 bondholders to execute their claim to shares in US refiner Citgo until January 21, 2022 (Argus Media – English). The Treasury has been blocking the bondholders from exercising their rights to Citgo since October 2019.

 

Cuba’s power relies on imported fuels. Approximately 96% of Cuba’s electricity depends on fossil fuels, mostly imported (On Cuba News – Spanish). The thermoelectric plant Antonio Guiteras went into maintenance for a week to increase its generation capacity (Gramma – Spanish).

 

Colombia may have a bright LPG future. The head of the World LPG Association, James Rockall, said this clean fuel has a great offer in Colombia, as it is used in the commercial and industrial sector (Portafolio – Spanish). Rockall argued that LPG can be a good alternative for natural gas vehicles, sea vessels, and thermoelectric plants.

 

Barbados will follow the “Norwegian model.” The Caribbean nation is pursuing the “Norwegian model”: exporting oil and gas while using renewables to power up the nation and vehicles (Climate Change News – English). The government planned to support oil and gas production but not use it domestically.

 

 

Natural Gas Mid-Downstream & LNG

 

Trinidad & Tobago’s NGC and the SWMCOL signed a MOU. The NGC Group of Companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Trinidad & Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL). The goal is to explore opportunities to capture and commercialize landfill gas (Energy Now- English).

 

AES now owns all of Panamá’s LNG-powered plant. The company acquired 49.9% of AES Colón from Inversiones Bahía Ltd., obtaining full control of the 381MW LNG-powered plant (Power Engineering – English). The acquisition will contribute to maximizing the value of AES regional LNG business.

 

 

Electric Power & Renewables

 

Communication work is needed in Guadeloupe’s geothermal sector. The INTERREG-Energy Transition in the Caribbean (TEC) project and Guadeloupe’s Regional Council launched a tender for a service provider to do communication work. The deadline for submissions is September 28 (New Energy Events – English).

 

All want in on the Dominican Republic’s renewables. The National Energy Commission (CNE) granted AES Dominicana a concession for the 100MW solar project (BN Americas – English). Brazilian businessmen interested in investing in the Dominican Republic’s renewables visited the Ministry of Energy and Mines (BN Americas – English).

 

Jamaica and the IDB will define renewables. The Caribbean nation and the Inter-American Development Bank will draft the guidelines and rules for the generation procurement of at least 268MW (BN Americas – English). The IDB is accepting expressions of interest to provide consultancy services.

 

Puerto Rico turns to renewables to fight blackouts. Castañer will produce its own electricity with solar panels on the roofs of the community to avoid blackouts (Metro – Spanish). Cambio, a nonprofit organization, is working with communities on sustainable solutions in the solid waste, water, environmental justice, governance, and energy fields (Clean Technica – English).

 

Enel Green Power got the green light for a solar project in Colombia. The Colombian environmental authority ANLA granted Enel Green Power a permit to develop a 119MW solar project in the department of Cesar (Renewables Now – English). Colombia’s power grid produced 86.02% of the country’s power with clean and renewable sources (Renewables Now – 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 MEC 2021 Exclusive Virtual Roundtables are scheduled for September 29 – October 1st.

 

The Geothermal Direct Use: Global Forum & Tour is scheduled for September 27-29.

 

The Future of Energy Virtual Conference will be held October 12-14.

 

The Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum will be held on October 27-28.

 

 

Lateral Thinking

 

Trinidad & Tobago has high hopes for green hydrogen. HDF Energy, Fisterra, and Kenesjay Green are leading a US$300m green hydrogen project in the Caribbean nation (Argus Media – English). The first client for the project would be ammonia producer Tringen.

 

 

Quote of the Week

 

“Every country that aspires to become a nation needs its heroes, its eminent civic and moral leaders, and if it doesn’t have them, it’s our duty to invent them.”

 

 

– Rosario Ferré (1938-2016), Puerto Rican writer and poet.

 

 

 

We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or green hydrogen plans to CaribbeanWeekly@energynarrative.com.

 

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