Archive | Energy

Finance Minister stands by earlier statements on “drug fuelled” economy

Finance Minister stands by earlier statements on “drug fuelled” economy

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Oct 31, CMC – Finance Minister Winston Jordan Wednesday maintained that the Guyana economy was partly fuelled by drugs under the previous administration and brushed aside a request by a leading private sector group to provide evidence of the allegation.

Jordan, speaking at a news conference here, made reference to the request from the Private Sector Commission (PSC) for him to provide it with the evidence indicating that the local economy was partly fuelled by drugs money under the last government.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan speaking to reporters

He told reporters that there were two studies presented by Economics Professor Clive Thomas which pointed to the impact of drug money on the Guyanese economy pre-2015.

“I will tell you this much, where the economy is today is proof positive that the economy was being run by drugs, by significant input from drugs”, Jordan said, adding that when he made his statement in a letter to a local newspaper recently, he did not refer to any private sector body.

“Now if as Bob says who the cap fit, then that’s fine,” he said, adding that his statement was specific to some in the private sector who benefited from nefarious activities.

“I was amazed to be quite honest when I got a letter from that gentleman asking me to provide proof to the private sector. I was amazed”.

Jordan said that he is busy preparing the national budget and other activities of his Ministry and therefore does not have the time to waste on the request from the PSC.

Jordan told reporters that with at least US$300 million being projected for the government’s coffers from ExxonMobil’s LIZA One well during the first year, there will many expected improvements.

“There will be improvements in the cultural, social and economic areas,” he said, referring to the expected revenues from initial oil production in 2020.

But he cautioned that funds will be spent carefully and in accordance with proposed legislation intended to govern the use of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).

This legislation is being finalized by the Ministry of Legal Affairs, with assistance from stakeholders from Commonwealth, Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Jordon told reporters that the expected funds will be kept in the SWF, then transferred to the Consolidated Fund, before it can be utilized.

He said one area being considered for improvements is the pensions of former managers and other government officials who, as a result of currency devaluations and other factors, receive a basic minimum pension.

Guyana is projecting commercial production of its oil sector by 2020 and according to the government, other areas of priority include infrastructural development, and agriculture, housing and manufacturing sectors.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Energy, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

CDB to fund energy project in Dominica

CDB to fund energy project in Dominica

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Oct 30, CMC – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says it is assisting Dominica undertake a project to conduct energy audits on 15 public buildings and facilities.

The CDB said that Dominica will be also getting assistance the European Union and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

It said that the grant of US$127,000 from the Bank’s Sustainable Energy for the Eastern Caribbean (SEEC) Programme will help Roseau conduct the energy audits.

The programme provides blended resources to address energy security issues through renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions, particularly in the public sector.

The project is in line with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive growth and sustainable development within its Borrowing Member Countries (BMC) as well as the Bank’s corporate priority of strengthening and modernising social and economic infrastructure.

The identified buildings, which include major government complexes such as the Financial Centre, the Douglas-Charles Airport and Dominica State College, currently consume some 4,459, 402 kilowatt hours of energy annually, costing more than four million EC dollars (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) annually.

The CDB said that the audits will analyse the energy performance of the buildings, and identify and recommend cost-effective and feasible energy efficiency measures.

Acting Head of the Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Unit, CDB, Joseph Williams said the project could result in cost and carbon emission savings for Dominica.

“Through this project, the government of Dominica could benefit from a reduction in its annual expenditure on electricity of an estimated two million US dollars.

“Implementing energy efficiency measures could result in a decrease of about 30 percent in energy consumption and savings of 1,929 megawatt hours of electricity per year, equivalent to a reduction of 1,254 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, helping Dominica meet its nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement,” he added.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Energy, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

DSC_3665

DFID to fund next Geothermal phase for Montserrat

Hon. Minister of Energy Paul Lewis

The Department for International Development (DFID) has agreed to fund the next phase in the development of a geothermal power plant on Montserrat.

According to the Hon. Minister of Energy Paul Lewis, the agency will source the funding to engage experts to move the geothermal plant development forward. “This expertise could take the form of a “Client Engineer” that will aid in the formulation of turnkey service for the project,” a release from Lewis’ ministry stated.

Minister Lewis shared that the client engineer is expected to have experience in public private partnerships as it is the proposed way the plant is to be developed. The engineer would be responsible to guide the development of the Montserrat Geothermal Plant Project.

He added that his ministry’s data gathering has revealed that it is possible to get a cheaper cost of power delivery to the consumer and they want to ensure that the public receives the best price on the market.

In August, the minister informed that his team met with their DFID counterparts on August 28 to finalise the Report of the Early Market Engagement (EME), announced at a press conference on January 23, this year. In attendance at the meeting were Permanent Secretary, Beverley Mendes, Energy Advisor Owen Lewis, and DFID representatives Moira Marshall, Allan Clarkin and Iftikhar Ahmad.

According to the press statement released on Wednesday, “there was a common consensus that the Early Market Engagement process was a success. There is a clear indication of interest in Montserrat’s geothermal prospects based on the number of well qualified geothermal players that participated in the exercise. It was further recognized that the current wells developed through investments provided by the UK Government has aided the advancement of Montserrat’s quest for geothermal energy.”

The EME proposed scope of works included, design, engineering, procurement, construction and partial financing services for Montserrat Geothermal 2.5 – 3.5 MW Plant Development.

Minister Lewis said the EME was an attempt to inform and engage the market and secure information.

“All parties were in agreement that the main concept behind the drive for the Geothermal project was to establish economic growth for Montserrat. It is therefore paramount that there is an attractive energy tariff rate to create investors interest in the island and for the local consumers to help improve their standards of living. Both the Government of Montserrat and DFID team have established action points that were agreed in the meeting. These action points will continue to drive the realization of geothermal energy,” said the release.

Meanwhile, a final agreement to complete drilling and short-term testing of Mon 3 has not yet been completed with the Iceland Drilling Company (IDC). No word on why the negotiations are still ongoing, as this has been the status since the start of the year.

A final decision on DFID funding contribution of the proposed geothermal plant has not been communicated to the government to date. Both parties have agreed to form a working group to determine how the geothermal project will proceed.

However, news of the positive sounds for the future movement on the six-year-old geothermal project have been met with criticism that the project has fallen this far behind. The argument says that there was a funding agreement in principle in 2014. That the project would have produced at minimum the base load with the new Genset as a backup. The information said that a third well was agreed at that time which would have allowed for expansion to at least 4.5MW production using two production wells and the third being for reinjection.

That information was highlighted, but in a different way during the ‘no confidence motion’ in Parliament this week, when Minister Paul Lewis said that the idea or the decision to acquire a 1.5 genset was a mistake, even though the idea and the need may have been a good one. He was challenged for not providing the facts, but countered that there was no knowledge at the time with the generators in use were constantly failing, when geothermal would have been in operation.

The unfortunate situation is that the new genset seemed up to now to be like ‘a lemon’ since as this report is written, it is with a sigh of relief, we say there hasn’t been any regular power outage over the past couple weeks.

Posted in Energy, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

Jamaica to host five-day international conference on water and waste resources

Jamaica to host five-day international conference on water and waste resources

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct 1, CMC –A five-day conference aimed at promoting climate resilience, innovation and partnership while addressing the issues of water and waste as resources in sustainable development gets underway here later this month.

The organisers said that the 27th Caribbean Water and Wastewater Conference will be attended by more than 400 delegates from the region, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

The October 8-12 event, dubbed “Climate Resilience, Innovation and Partnership for Sustainable Water and Waste Development,” will also be attended by at least 16 Caribbean ministers with responsibility for water and waste management, professionals, technocrats and students.

President of the National Water Commission (NWC) and co-chairman of the conference committee, Mark Barnett, said the five-day event will include meetings, plenary and technical sessions focusing on climate-resilience infrastructure; regional planning and investment and other matters relating to the development of the water and wastewater sector.

“Discussions will include issues relating to water, wastewater, waste treatment and the impact of climate change. Climate change is a result of how we treat our environment, which predominantly relates to waste that is generated by human activity.

“So, we want to bring focus to the resilience of the region and how partnerships can assist in helping us to improve our sustainability both in terms of our water and waste treatment and development within the sector,” Barnett said.

The conference will also coincide with the 14th High Level Forum of Caribbean Ministers responsible for water.

“Over the two days, the water ministers from across the region will discuss the strategies and action plan needed to improve water management; the protection of such valuable resource and how they respond to climate change issues,” Barnett said.

Among the presenters include the general manager of the Inter-American Development Bank Caribbean Country Department, Therese Turner-Jones;  the chief executive officer of National Commercial Bank (NCB) Capital Markets Limited, Steven Gooden; Professor Michael Taylor of the University of the West Indies; and Executive Director of the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Ronald Jackson.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Energy, International, OECS, Regional, Technology0 Comments

Government assures Guyana will have world class petroleum sector

Government assures Guyana will have world class petroleum sector

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Sept 1, CMC – The Guyana government says it is putting in place measures to ensure that country builds a world class petroleum sector.

President David Granger told a news conference on Friday that while his administration is cognisant of the continuous oil discoveries offshore, the recently established Department of Energy has a wide range of issues to address as it relates to the regulation of the petroleum sector.

“We are conscious of the international environment, we are conscious of our commitment, we are conscious of the continuous discoveries of large amounts of petroleum offshore Guyana and we intend to establish a world-class petroleum sector that is well regulated,” President Granger said.

President David Granger addressing news conference

He noted that it would take some time for international experts to be recruited since the expertise is lacking locally and that the Department of Energy is an interim measure since it does not have the capacity to “bear the burden” of a world-class petroleum industry.

Granger said that the decision to establish the Department of Energy was as a result of the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman’s request for the responsibility of petroleum to be removed from that ministry.

Granger said that the government is still in the early stages of setting up the department but in due course, there will be a Ministry of Energy or Petroleum.

He said the department was deliberately placed under the purview of the Ministry of the Presidency to ensure it is subjected to the highest level of scrutiny.

“We will have the opportunity to query any decisions made and to ensure that the interest of the Guyanese people is protected,” Granger said, noting that as it relates to the agreements with the US-based oil giant, ExxonMobil, they will be subject to review by the Department of Energy, as well as all other aspects related to the emerging sector.

However, he told reporters that once international contracts have been signed there is no room for renegotiation.

“We will move forward and ensure we get the best advice before we engage in any other negotiations,” Granger said, indicating that given the circumstances at the time, he believes the government negotiated with ExxonMobil for what was possible at the time, under the Product Sharing Agreement.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Energy, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

IDB launches call for proposals from startups in the Caribbean

IDB launches call for proposals from startups in the Caribbean

 

WASHINGTON, Jun. 20,   CMC – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has launched a call for proposals that will reward the most disruptive ventures in Latin America and the Caribbean that are using innovation to improve lives.

The Washington-based financial institution said the selected startups will participate in Demand Solutions Chile, which will take place on November 21 in Santiago, Chile.

Demand Solutions is the IDB’s flagship innovation event that brings together “the world’s most forward-thinking minds to share creative solutions to the development challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean,” the statement said.

In this edition, the IDB said startups can participate in two thematic areas.

In the first, they must provide solutions in four categories related to the cultural and creative industries: Design with social sense: sustainable fashion, smart fashion, urban art, wearable technology; and multimedia that improves lives: videogames, digital content, audiovisual content.

The other categories are: New technologies: 3D printing, blockchain, internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics; and export of services to global markets: production and commercialization of cultural content, export of goods and creative services.

The IDB said the 10 most innovative startups in the creative industries will be selected to participate in Demand Solutions Chile with all expenses paid for one representative per startup.

The first place will receive financial support to continue with its development, the IDB said.

Additionally, the IDB said this edition of Demand Solutions will also reward five startups that provide solutions to water and sanitation challenges in the region.

Since 2009, the IDB said along with Fundación FEMSA it was awarded the Water and Sanitation Prize for Latin America and the Caribbean “to recognize and stimulate the most innovative solutions in the water, sanitation and solid waste sectors.”

The startups interested in participating in Demand Solutions must present a solution proposal to a development challenge before July 15, the IDB said.

It said the representatives must be over 18 years old.

Winners will be notified by mail in early September 2018.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Energy, Entertainment, General, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional, Science/Technology, TOURISM0 Comments

Bulbs

CARICOM moving to phase out incandescent bulbs by September

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, May 9, CMC – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are expected to complete the phase out of the use of incandescent bulbs by September this year, the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat announced Wednesday.

It said the regional countries are undertaking the project to become more energy efficient, on the basis of a mandate from the CARICOM Energy Ministers.

BulbsThe Secretariat said that the plans for the phase out programme are now being developed by the CARICOM Secretariat and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).

The programme will include a roadmap to reduce the import and sale of incandescent light bulbs within the region, and will guide and support countries in the establishment of regulations and actions for the phasing out exercise.

“If all goes according to the plan, incandescent bulbs will gradually be phased-out as energy efficiency standards for lighting are phased-in. The phase-out schedule could begin as early as January 2019 with the 100 watt incandescent bulbs, with further restrictions on smaller lamp sizes entering into force in incremental stages over a number of years,” the Secretariat noted.

The decision to develop the phase-out programme was taken at the recently-concluded meeting of CARICOM Energy Ministers as part of the menu of quality measures that are being undertaken to steer the Community towards energy efficiency and sector regulation.

The incandescent light bulbs have existed for 130 years and are inefficient because they waste most of their energy. They are very cheap to manufacture and purchase, but only five per cent of the input power is converted into visible light, with the remainder converted into waste heat.

Hence, they are expensive to operate and lead to high electricity bills for households and businesses that use them. The natural successors to the incandescent bulb are compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). These use 60-90 per cent less energy than incandescent lighting and offer a much longer lifespan, the Secretariat noted.

It said that in 2015, the CARICOM Ministers had approved energy perform standards for CFLs and LEDs. These standards protect consumers from “underperforming products” while simultaneously protecting importers of highly efficient products from competitors saturating the market with “cheaper”, low performance products.

“Effort is being made for the standards for CFLs and LEDs to be adopted at national levels before year end as an assurance of quality in the efficient lighting alternatives. This is a precursor to the removal of inefficient incandescent bulbs from CARICOM markets.”

Cuba was the first country in the world to successfully complete the phase-out of incandescent bulbs. In 2007, the Caribbean country banned the import and sale of incandescent bulbs and implemented a programme for their direct substitution with CFLs in households.

According to reports, about 116 million incandescent bulbs were replaced by CFLs in every household in Cuba, resulting in peak demand savings of about 4,000 MW and eight million tons of carbon emissions.

Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code

Among the other steps that the region has taken on the road to energy efficiency is the development of an Energy Efficiency Code for buildings within the CARICOM.

The Energy ministers at their meeting here last month also approved the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, with the accompanying Caribbean Application Document, as the Regional Energy Efficient Building Code (REEBC).

The establishment of the REEBC is a very important step in creating a clear and generally-accepted framework for maximising the efficiency of the “total” energy services in buildings.

“The approval paves the way for the systematic implementation of the principles and practices related to, among other things, energy efficient lamps and lighting. The phase out of incandescent bulbs is consistent with the requirements of the recently approved Energy Efficiency Code for CARICOM buildings,” the Secretariat added.

It said within CARICOM, successful implementation of the REEBC could eliminate 15,000 barrels of imported oil and save an estimated one million US dollars in foreign exchange every day.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Energy, International, Local, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

cdb

CDB adds electric vehicle to transportation fleet

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, May 10, CMC  – The Barbados based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has added an electric vehicle to its transportation fleet, as part of its commitment to advance a clean energy agenda in the Region.

cdbThe vehicle, a Nissan Leaf Tekna purchased through the company Megapower Ltd. – based here, produces zero emissions and will reduce the Bank’s carbon footprint as it transports packages and officials throughout the island.

Energy security is a consideration integrated throughout CDB’s work ,both within the organisation and throughout its Borrowing Member Countries, under the Bank’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan.

In 2015, CDB adopted an Energy Sector Policy and Strategy that set out the CDB’s approach for tackling the Region’s energy challenges, including emphasising energy security and access; prioritising renewable energy and energy efficiency; and promoting a holistic approach to energy sector

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Energy, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Darcy Boyce

COTED meeting agrees on CCREE full operationalisation

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Apr 20, CMC – The Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Energy has ended here with an agreement that work has advanced towards the full operationalisation of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) by the middle of this year.

Minister of State in the Office of the Barbados Prime Minister, Darcy Boyce, who chaired the one-day meeting on Thursday, said “we can then move forward with appointment of the executive board and staffing of the Centre”.

Darcy Boyce
Darcy Boyce

Montserrat became the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to have deposited its instruments of ratification of the agreement establishing the CCREEE.

Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica and Belize are the other CARICOM countries that have deposited their instruments of ratification.

The Centre is intended to function as the implementation hub for the CARICOM Energy Policy, as well as the Caribbean Sustainable Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS). I

n 2015, CARICOM leaders approved the establishment of the CCREEE and identified Barbados as the host country for its Secretariat. The COTED agreed to interim operations of the Centre in January, 2016 and on Thursday, the meeting agreed on decisions related to the transition from that interim stage to the first operational phase.

When fully operational, the Centre is expected to improve the quantity and quality of programmes and projects in sustainable energy within the region.

“We had a very useful meeting, and I expect that we would have put ourselves in a position to achieve a lot more in the energy sector, in renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next few years,’ Boyce said, adding that “good progress” had also been made on the matter of labelling of energy efficient equipment within the region.

He said this step would ensure that people knew “exactly what they were getting” when they bought equipment and sought to encourage them to acquire more efficient equipment and appliances for their properties.

The meeting also approved a pilot programme which will get underway shortly to promote energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings. Substantial discussions were held on integrating climate resilience into the C-CERMS against the background of the region’s vulnerability to intense climate-related events.

The one-day meeting also discussed insurance and electricity disruption.

“We felt that we needed to discuss ways in which we could get the work done to guide us… to become more resistant to those situations, and to help us to recover faster” when there are natural disasters,” Boyce said.

He said the ministers also took stock of the availability of technical assistance under the CARIFORUM Regional Programme for Energy under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) to get the resources that were necessary for studies and to implement projects to grow the energy sector.

The ministers also had “robust” discussions on oil and gas in the Region. A working group is to be established to consider how there could be deeper cooperation and more advice available on the technical matters on that sector.

Boyce had at the start of the meeting made reference to the region’s oil and gas sector, and its potential to benefit the populace.

“While we are all determined to make sure that we benefit as best as we can from renewable energy and energy efficiency, we all also have to bear in mind that if we are the owners of resources, we ought not to let those resources stand there idly, but we should use them for the benefit of our countries and for the Region.

“So I am very glad that we are not shying away from the matter of oil and gas. It is a matter of balancing … oil and gas, with the natural resource of sunlight, and wind, and water. And this is what it is all about: optimising, getting the best mix of those resources to give our people and our economies what they need”, he said.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Education, Energy, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology, Technology0 Comments

Paul Collier

Government urged not to invest in oil refinery

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 24, CMC – An internationally recognised economist is urging the Guyana government not to invest in a local oil refinery noting that refineries attract large amounts of capital expenditure.

“The whole oil industry is going to tether out in 2040. You might be left with a great lump of technology off your shores which has no use,” said Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Oxford University, Sir Paul Collier.

Paul Collier
Sir Paul Collier

Sir Paul, who was here participating in a special high-level Cabinet caucus on the development of the country’s oil and gas industry,  told reporters that the margin on returns for refining oil is very small.

He also advised that the government avoids subsidising gas because “that way the society ends up drinking what it should be accumulating”.

Sir Paul said he is confident that the Guyana government will learn as the oil and gas industry develops, what are the best investments, taking into account the unpredictability of the market.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has already stated that the government will take on board all recommendations before making any decision on the establishment of an oil refinery.

“We have to take on board all of the advice that is given and then at the appropriate time the Minister (of Natural Resources) will bring a memorandum to Cabinet upon which we will cogitate and make a decision that is in the best interest of the people of Guyana,” Harmon said.

Last year, Pedro Haas, Director of Advisory Services at Hartree Partners, who was tasked with carrying out a feasibility study for an oil refinery in Guyana, said that the cost to construct an oil refinery would be in the vicinity of five billion US dollars.

The feasibility study found that it would be too costly for the government to invest in an oil refinery.

The consultant, whose services was secured through the New Petroleum Producers Group by the London-based Chatham House, said that the final results of the study showed that Guyana would be “destroying over half the value of your investment the day you commission your refinery”.

 

Further, Sir Paul suggested that the government examines the idea of establishing a national oil company, not to conduct off-shore drilling, but to operate as a minority equity partner to build expertise in the operation.

He said this will better position the Government in decision-making, policies and future engagements with other oil companies seeking to invest in the country’s oil and gas industry.

The British expert re-emphasised the need to have a national conversation on these and other issues to chart a common course forward.

The government said the objective of the caucus was to move preparations to a deeper level of engagement on issues such as prioritizing spending on infrastructure, agriculture and social programmes, inter-generational savings, geo-political considerations, legal and institutional strengthening, benefit sharing and engagement and involvement of the people of Guyana.

It has indicated that similar exercises will be held in the coming months.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Energy, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Newsletter

Archives