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ENERGY Caribbean newsletter (April 2014 • Issue no. 72)

The final edition of the ENERGY Caribbean newsletter

ENERGY Caribbean newsletter (April 2014 • Issue no.

April 2014 Issue no. 72 WHAT’S INSIDE 3 PPGPL suffers setbacks in overseas investment 4 Staatsolie expects upsurge in exploration 9 BHP Billiton to decide on block 3a this year NEWSLETTER 10-11 The best ways to get gas to Caribbean markets CARIBBEAN LNG New LNG venture promises electricity price relief Trinidad plant will target Martinique and Guadeloupe first Roland Fisher Courtesy Roland Fisher Caribbean electric utilities desperate for deliverance from high fuel oil and diesel prices may finally have their prayers answered. Roland Fisher, CEO of Gasfin Development SA, which has been given the green light by the Trinidad and Tobago government to establish a 500,000 tonne-a-year LNG plant at La Brea, says he is confident that Caribbean LNG, as the La Brea plant will be known, should be able to deliver gas at around US$14-15 per mmbtu, or at least 20% below the current cost of fuel oil in mmbtu terms. That could mean a substantial reduction in the current cost of electricity to regional consumers, who currently pay prices ranging from US$0.39 per kilowatt hour in St Vincent to $0.22 per kwh in Aruba (compare $0.06 in Trinidad and Tobago). Gasfin Development is a Luxembourgregistered, UK-headquartered company, but the state-owned National Gas Company (NGC) will be an equal partner in Caribbean LNG and will be directly involved in part ownership of the first train (and probably a second in time), as well as a likely equity partner in the two floating, storage and regasification units (FSRUs) to be based in Martinique and Guadeloupe, the first customers the company is targeting. TGE Marine and TGE Gas Engineering, both Gasfin subsidiaries, will be designing and building these vessels as well as the carrier that will deliver the LNG from La Brea – and of course the LNG plant itself. Since LNG is being delivered FOB, Gasfin has no control over possible NGC partnership in the LNG carrier part of the supply chain unless, as Fisher explains, “we take the project on to being a deliverer of gas, rather than a seller of LNG. The buyer has to manage their own logistics.” The situation may change when Caribbean LNG begins to sell to the smaller Caricom states, which may not be in a position to engage their own transport. Fisher has been wooing Électricité de France (EdF), the power producer in both Martinique and Guadeloupe, almost from the day he started selling his idea about the vast potential of the Caribbean gas trade to energy ministry officials, who were sceptical at first but eventually came around. The current minister, Kevin Ramnarine, became a convert and formally announced the go-ahead for the project at the Energy Chamber’s annual petroleum conference in early February. A project development agreement now has to be worked out. New business Production of LNG under national and sympathetic foreign control opens the door to a host of new business possibilities. Caribbean LNG will be the conduit for the transfer of Trinidad gas to as many Caribbean markets as possible, to relieve them of crippling and potentially everlasting dependence on oil. As Fisher points out: “What we are really doing is supplying the infrastructure that will enable NGC gas to go to the region, and NGC has told us that’s what our job is, not to sell their gas to the world.” Caribbean LNG could also do what the much bigger LNG company, Atlantic, has never contemplated: providing LNG to domestic Trinidad customers. “We are very serious that containers of LNG will be available for the Trinidad market,” Fisher says. “It will be a real opportunity for small industries, for [ to page 12 ] Energy Caribbean April 2014 1

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