December 9, 2019 edition– Nicaragua’s self-generators; the Dominican Republic’s rounds; and Colombia’s renewables.

Last Week in a Minute or Less

Central America. Honduras will rely on the sun and lithium batteries; Nicaragua will kill the commercialization tax for self-generators; and S&P trusts Guatemala’s economy.

Greater Antilles / Northern Islands. The Dominican Republic will make new hydrocarbon exploration rounds; Shell’s deal in the Bahamas is still alive; and the Dominican Republic’s Washington Capital Solar Park is finally done.

Lesser Antilles / Southern Islands. Honeywell will help out BP’s Trinidad Cassia Compression Platform; Limetree Bay Refining keeps negotiating the oil refinery; and the IMF is concerned with Curaçao and Saint Maarten.

South America’s Caribbean Coast. Parex and Ecopetrol won big in the Colombian oil round; Invenergy and EPM partnered up to increase Colombia’s renewable capacity; and Citgo’s board fought over a US$57m oil cargo.

Déjà vu all over again. Last week’s readers were particularly interested in Canacol’s production in Colombia (English); Venezuela’s oil sector recovery (English); and Panama’s electricity distribution bid (English).

Political Economy

The IMF is concerned with Curaçao and Saint Maarten. The Venezuelan crisis threatens to bring Curaçao into a recession for the fourth year despite its strong growth in tourism (English). Saint Maarten is recovering slowly from the 2017 hurricanes, with tourism expected to support 2019 GDP growth of 5%.

The Dominican Republic’s FDI averaged US$2.5bn over 10 years. According to the Dominican Republic’s central bank, foreign direct investment (FDI) averaged US$2.5bn in the last 10 years, a “valuable” contribution for a “small and open” economy (English) (Spanish). FDI is one of the main sources of financing for projects.

The Dominican Republic and Colombia will boost their trade. The Dominican Republic and Colombia signed an MOU establishing the creation of a joint council for the promotion of trade, investment, and productive chains (English). The goal is to increase business opportunities between both countries.

S&P trusts Guatemala’s economy. The international rating agency maintained Guatemala’s credit risk rating of BB- and a stable perspective (Spanish). The new government is expected to maintain relevant political-economic measures, a prudent fiscal system, and moderate public debt.

A project to improve Venezuela’s power became a political crisis. The proposed US$350m loan agreement with the Development Bank of Latin America would supply emergency power to areas suffering blackouts for months (English). The project’s promoters accused the opposition of playing politics with the humanitarian crisis, as the project requires the National Assembly’s approval.

Oil & Gas Upstream

Honeywell will help out BP’s Trinidad Cassia Compression Platform. Honeywell will design and deliver the Integrated Control and Safety System (ICSS) that will ease BP’s work remotely managing its offshore compression platform off Trinidad & Tobago’s coast (English). The company said it is the third offshore platform for the Cassia Complex.

The GRA set the guidelines for agreements between ExxonMobil and subcontractors. The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) published guidelines regarding the importation, taxes, levies, and imposts for equipment and supplies (English). IHS Markit said Guyana’s exploration success will bring millions to the Caribbean nation (English).

The Dominican Republic will make new hydrocarbon exploration rounds. The Ministry of Energy and mines will offer new gas and oil rounds in the coming months in areas that were not included in the first round (English). Apache will invest US$85m to search for gas in the San Petro maritime basin (English).

Parex and Ecopetrol won big in the Colombian oil round. Ecopetrol and its subsidiary Hocol, Frontera Energy Corp, and Amerisur Resources were awarded one contract each. Gran Tierra Energy and Parex won two contracts each (English) while CNE Oil and Gas SAS were awarded three contracts.

Oil & Gas Downstream

Limetree Bay Refining keeps negotiating the oil refinery. Limetree Bay Refining is negotiating a 2011 settlement with Hovensa with federal and local officials. The parties are about 80-85% through the agreement (English), according to the US Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources commissioner.

Citgo’s board fought over a US$57m oil cargo. One member of the board of directors appointed by Nicolás Maduro and another named by opposition leader Juan Guaidó debated over the control of US$57m worth of crude oil stranded at sea (English).

The US added six oil tankers to the sanctions list. The US Treasury Department put six vessels on its list of Specially Designated Nationals as they were being used to send oil to Cuba (English) (Spanish). US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to continue US policy to push Maduro from power.

Autogas Jamaica Limited went into Jamaica’s LPG sector. Autogas Jamaica Limited has become the third player to enter the market for liquefied petroleum gas in Jamaica (English). The competitors are Texaco and Technigas.

Renewables & Electricity

The Dominican Republic’s Washington Capital Solar Park is finally done. The Dominican Republic announced that the Washington Capital Solar Park is finished. The project required an investment of US$70m and will generate 110 million kwh per year (Spanish).

Invenergy and EPM partnered up to increase Colombia’s renewable capacity. The US company Invenergy and Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) announced a joint venture to bring 400MW of renewable energy capacity to the Caribbean nation in the next five years (English).

Shell’s deal in the Bahamas is still alive. Shell’s new power plant project is still happening, according to the Minister of Works Desmond Bannister (English). Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) made a US$70m investment in Wartsila engines on its behalf.

Nicaragua will kill the commercialization tax for self-generators. Nicaragua is considering the end of the commercialization tax on power for users that generate their own power and decide to sell their surplus (Spanish). The proposal was sent to the National Assembly on November 21.

Honduras will rely on the sun and lithium batteries. A German-Honduran alliance is bringing solar projects to small communities that previously had no power access in the Central American nation with lithium storage units (Spanish). The goal is to boost the local economy.

Old School Social

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

S&P Global Platts 20th Annual Caribbean Energy Conference is scheduled for January 29-31 at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar, in Puerto Rico. The leading energy conference in the Caribbean gathers global professionals to discuss regional trends, including power finance and investment, fuel options, IMO, microgrids, infrastructure, natural gas, and much more.

Lateral Thinking

An astronomer, a sculptor, and an energy entrepreneur received Caribbean Awards. Dr. Shirin Haque, an astronomer from Trinidad & Tobago; Jallim Eudovic, a sculptor from St. Lucia; and Andrew Mendes, an energy services entrepreneur, among others, received the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards, the only program that rewards nominees from the arts, civic contribution, science, and entrepreneurship (English).

Quote of the Week

“But if these years have taught me anything, it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.”

– Junot Díaz (1968), Dominican American writer.

We hope you have a productive week. Please send any news, comments, or award-deserving actions to CaribbeanWeekly@energynarrative.com.

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