The Weekly Brief: Greater Caribbean

September 4, 2017 edition— Jamaica will have a new LNG plant; Colombia’s Cano-Limon pipeline was halted; and the DR’s gasoline tax will help 2018 revenue.




Last Week in a Minute or Less


Central America.

Central America should update the transmission grid and Guatemala ordered a UN investigator to leave.


Greater Antilles. AES Dominicana committed to a 20MW energy storage system; the Dominican Republic’s gasoline tax will boost 2018 revenue; and Jamaica will count on a new LNG plant.


Lesser Antilles. Guyana and ExxonMobil will build a “strong” relationship; Antigua and Barbuda and Canada strengthened their relations; as did Curaçao and the Dominican Republic.


Northern South America. Colombia’s Cano-Limon pipeline was hit and Venezuela’s oil minister became PDVSA’s head.


Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Exxon’s hiring a drillship for Guyana (English); the draft of the DR electricity pact (Spanish); and the Dutch Caribbean and the Dominican Republic cooperation agreement signing (Spanish).



Political Economy


The Bahamas avoided a rating downgrade. Moody’s confirmed the Baa3 rating for The Bahamas based on the endorsement of the fiscal consolidation initiatives (English). Moody’s said the review for downgrade was caused by a “significant deterioration” in the Bahamas’ fiscal position (English).


The Caribbean looks in and out for cooperation. Antigua and Barbuda and Canada representatives aim to strengthen their relationship (English) while Chile’s president and Barbados Prime Minister signed a bilateral cooperation agreement (English). Looking inside the Caribbean, Curaçao and the Dominican Republic discussed how to increase commerce and investment (Spanish).


Cayman Islands comply with tax information. According to an OECD report the Cayman Islands is “largely compliant” with the international standard on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (English). The Cayman Islands achieved the same rating as G20 member countries, including Australia, Canada, and Germany.


Guatemala ordered a UN investigator to leave. Guatemala’s president Jimmy Morales ordered the expulsion of the head of the UN anti-corruption mission, Iván Velásquez Gómez. The Constitutional Court stopped the order, but President Morales said it cannot overrule his decisions on foreign affairs (English).


Jamaica’s economy hit record growth for the second quarter. From April until June, Jamaica’s economy grew 0.3%, reaching ten consecutive quarters of growth (English). External demand for certain Jamaican goods and services grew, despite being constrained by adverse weather conditions.



Oil & Gas Upstream


Guyana is looking for a long-term relationship with ExxonMobil. President David Granger assured that his administration will work with the oil giant to develop a long-term relationship based on transparency, openness, and accountability (English). Granger wants to develop a petroleum industry beneficial to the nation.


Total’s request to drill close to an Amazon reef was denied. The Brazil’s Environmental Agency rejected Total’s application to drill in the Amazon Basin. Total’s Environmental Impact Assessment had flaws in the oil dispersion modeling and potential cross border risk to the Caribbean archipelagos, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela (English).


Venezuela’s oil minister became PDVSA head. Venezuela’s oil minister Nelson Martínez will lead the state-owned company as a last attempt to reverse the declining revenues from crude oil, replacing Eulogio del Pino (English). Del Pino is considered one of the most capable individuals in the Maduro administration by the oil markets.



Oil & Gas Downstream


Colombia’s Cano-Limon pipeline halted. Colombia’s ELN rebel group stopped pumping operations along the second-largest oil pipeline in the country, the Cano-Limon Covenas (English). The attack occurred in El Carmen municipality, near the Venezuela’s border, producing a crude spillage into a nearby river.


DR businesses don’t want to sell propane at gas stations. The National Business Council (Conep) is against the sale of propane gas at gas stations (English). The council is concerned about the danger to the population from storing and distributing different fuels in one place.


The DR gasoline prices were frozen… Regular and premium gasoline prices were frozen while diesel increased by 1 peso (Spanish). Liquefied gas will cost DR$107.3 per gallon and natural gas DR$28.97 per cubic meter.


…and a new DR gasoline tax will back up 2018 revenue. The government of the Dominican Republic plans to obtain US$12.1bn on fiscal revenue with the RD$2.0 tax for each imported gallon of gasoline (English). The tax will be charged in advance, added at the time of importation, not of sale.



Renewables & Electricity


AES Dominicana ordered a 20MW energy storage system. AES Dominicana announced the commissioning of 20MW of energy storage to support power plants AES Andres and Dominican Power Partners (English). The storage system will be based on lithium-ion batteries capable of storing and releasing energy and power when and how SENI requires it.


Haiti’s new hybrid solar smart grid is up and running. Haiti’s new hybrid smart grid project is providing 450kW of clean energy to facilities including a school and a hospital (English). NPH Germany will use this smart-grid to power all its facilities in Port-au-Prince with lithium-ion batteries.


Central America should focus on updating transmission. According to a study developed by the Administrator of the Guatemalan Wholesale Market, Central American countries should invest US$200m in strengthening the regional market’s transmission capacity (Spanish). Investment should focus on Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.


A third LNG plant will be built in Jamaica. JPS signed a power purchase agreement with New Fortress South Power Holdings which will construct a 94MW power plant in Clarendon. The plant will employ liquefied natural gas, being the third power generation facility of the kind in Jamaica (English).



Lateral Thinking


A solar powered ship is promoting the conversion of plastic waste into energy. The 50-foot Race for Water ship will circle the world with solar energy and its crew will explain a new energy generating process. The patented project is a process for thermo-chemical conversion of biomass and waste (English).



Quote of the Week


“Los hombres son como los astros, que unos dan luz de sí y otros brillan con la que reciben.”


“Men are like stars, some light up, others shine with the light they receive.”


-José Martí (1853-1895), Cuban journalist, poet, politician, and writer




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