6 months ago

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

The final edition of the ENERGY Caribbean newsletter

ST VINCENT The future:

ST VINCENT The future: multiple energy sources Already hydro supplies 18% of St Vincent’s power With no oil nor gas of its own, St Vincent and the Grenadines is turning to renewable energy. It already produces 18% of its power from hydro, according to Thornley Myers, CEO of St Vincent Electricity Services (total installed capacity 42MW). Solar also makes a modest contribution. Five other member utilities of the Caribbean Electricity Utility Services Corporation, the “trade union” for power providers in the region, have installed RE generation systems to complement their diesel and fuel oil facilities: the Jamaica Public Service Company, Lucelec in St Lucia, Barbados Light and Power, St Kitts Electricity (a government department), and Aqualectra in Curaçao. Myers sees others moving slowly but surely in this direction. RE installation costs are high, and the intermittency of all but two RE sources – hydro and geothermal – will always require a more reliable baseload system. But RE allows greater price stability, Myers observes. “Fuel prices change every month now, based on the price of oil.” There is also a foreign exchange saving from reduced oil imports, and as an indigenous resource RE offers a measure of “energy independence”. Then there’s the CO 2 reduction factor. Carbon emissions are comparatively low in the Caribbean (the IDB puts St Vincent’s CO 2 discharges at 48,805 tons a year), but Myers supports reduction. “If we demonstrate a commitment to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions, other countries will say, if these small states are committed to this exercise, why shouldn’t we be trying too?” While RE will grow, Myers predicts, multiple energy sources will be the pattern in the Caribbean, with the fossil fuel contribution coming from gas. Roland Fisher, CEO of Gasfin Development SA, has been trying to enlist St Vincent as a client of the proposed small LNG train to be established at La Brea in Trinidad. “We were receptive,” Myers says, “but the key question will always be cost. Price stability is first and foremost in our considerations.” Consumers in St Vincent presently pay US$0.39 per kilowatt hour (kwh). “If we can import gas at a price that lowers that to US$0.25, we would be very happy. Of course, if it were US$0.15, we would be even happier!” SUSTAINABILITY BG T&T comes clean on CO 2 And prepares plans on emission reduction and local content Corporate contributions to global warming are a delicate subject, but BG Trinidad and Tobago frankly states in its most recent Sustainability Review (2012/2013) that its greenhouse gas emissions during the former year amounted to 45,526 tonnes. Flaring accounted for 42.08%. Fuel gas usage contributed 22.82%, diesel usage 18.24%, venting 10.97%, “fugitive” emissions 5.08%, and aircraft fuel 0.81%. The 2012 figure was a 2% reduction on 2011. Upgrading BG T&T’s Beachfield blowdown system reduced emissions from flaring by as much as 76%. Greater use of gas generators and less of diesel as a primary fuel source reduced emissions by 12%. Imposing a fixed flight schedule for aircraft cut that source by 25% and lopped US$1.9 million off the fuel bill. However, gas compression facilities installed at BG T&T’s Central block on land in 2013, and those to be completed on the Hibiscus platform in its North Coast Marine Area 1 block in 2014, will “significantly increase” emissions from those sources. BG T&T is the country’s second largest provider of natural gas (25% of the total), and is not happy that its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be rising again. It pledges to develop an energy management plan for emissions (methane and nitrous oxide as well as CO 2 ). A UK company, Process Improvement, has already undertaken “an energy efficiency survey of all existing facilities to determine how efficiently energy is being consumed and managed.” Sixteen ways to enhance efficiency were identified, which BG T&T says “could result in potential savings of over 100,000 tonnes of emissions.” A technical review of the existing “GHG accounting and reporting process” has been undertaken, which the company believes could “help improve the overall accuracy and quality of data reported.” Assessment of “fugitive” discharges (attributable to leaks and other irregular gas emissions from equipment) has been reviewed in the light of “changes in operational design.” In another area of national concern, local content, BG T&T claims in its report that it is falling in line and “developing a local content strategy.” Energy minister Kevin Ramnarine recently revealed that “serious consideration is being given to legislating local content ... as has been done in Norway.” 6

EMISSIONS Petrotrin plans “clean development mechanism” A quarter of its wells will be involved initially Petrotrin plans to recover about five million cubic feet a day (mmcfd) of associated gas currently vented in its oilfields. By mid-year, it should have selected a contractor to “finance, build, own, operate, maintain and transfer” Trinidad and Tobago’s first clean development mechanism (CDM). This will keep about 78,000 tonnes of CO 2 out of the atmosphere. Total national emissions are estimated at 53 million tonnes a year by Dr Donnie Boodlal, assistant professor of process engineering at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Though the project represents only a modest cut in overall country emissions, it is significant in the context of process ad_energy_caribbean_hp.pdf 1 03/03/2014 10:02 emissions from oil and gas, since they account for only 2% of total emissions, according to Boodlal’s research. The petrochemical plants at Point Lisas are responsible for 57%, and power generation for 28%. The finance will come from the fee that Phoenix Park Gas Processors (PPGPL) is paying to integrate that 5 mmcfd of associated gas into its own gas stream, and to develop the ability to trade certified emission reduction credits on the European Union carbon market. PPGPL will achieve some minor benefit from extracting the liquids from the gas, which is its primary business. Financing for such activities is seen as a challenge for local companies. Ramona Ramdial, minister of state in the ministry of the environment and water resources, stressed the “urgent need” for climate finance when she met the European Union commissioner for climate action, Connie Hedegaard, in New York late last year. Petrotrin has 2,216 active wells, but only 562 will be targeted in the first phase of the CDM project. “The big cost in this is getting a pipeline system to all the wells,” explains Hemraj Ramdath, the company’s vice president for strategy and business development. There is already a gas line from Pointe-à-Pierre to PPGPL, “so we will be tapping into that.” Finally, LNG for the Caribbean Right-sized LNG solutions Gasfin, building on its extensive global references in Mid-scale LNG, stands ready to assist Trinidad & Tobago to win the race to serve the Caribbean gas market. For more information visit or call 868 224 3495 At every every size...on land or sea...across the globe Energy Caribbean April 2014 7

CONTACT Magazine (Vol.18 No.2 – September 2018)
Caribbean Beat — September/October 2018 (#153)
Caribbean Beat — July/August 2018 (#152)
Caribbean Beat — May/June 2018 (#151)
GASCO News (Volume 24, November 2013)
About MEP Publishers (Trinidad & Tobago, Caribbean)
The Caribbean Review of Books (New vol. 1, no. 19, February 2009)
CONTACT Magazine (Vol.18 No.1 – April 2018)
Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2016 — 25th Anniversary Edition
Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2017 (#28)
Caribbean Beat — January/February 2017 (#143)
Caribbean Beat — 25th Anniversary Edition — March/April 2017 (#144)
Caribbean Beat — May/June 2017 (#145)
Caribbean Beat — July/August 2017 (#146)
Caribbean Beat — September/October 2017 (#147)
Caribbean Beat — November/December 2017 (#148)
Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2018 (#29)
Caribbean Beat — January/February 2018 (#149)