The Haiti, T&T energy supply deal

In the aftermath of the meetings held with heads of CARICOM governments with the Prime Minister of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago a report was placed in the public domain of an energy agreement signed in T&T between Haiti and T&T. The very sketchy details placed in the public domain on this agreement speaks to: the supply of energy products and lubricants produced in T&T to Haiti, T&T state investment in Haiti in the retail outlets for these energy products and the erection of a sea port facility to enable importation of energy products and T&T exploration for energy resources in Haiti. No details are given on the purchase agreement governing the energy supply to Haiti much less for the agreements governing the refurbishing of the gas stations and the erection of the sea port. In the absence of detail one can only expose the salient realities of the energy market of Haiti and the dangers posed to the national interests of T&T with this delusional foray by the government. The largest single creditor nation to Haiti today is Venezuela and this is primarily through the PetroCaribe agreement. Haiti has been accessing energy via Petrocaribe under a moratorium granted and now the process of repayment under the agreement has to kick in and the word is that the present Haitian government cannot honour its obligations under the agreement as it’s tottering on bankruptcy. The state owned port was damaged in the earthquake and is yet to be repaired or an alternate erected has forced PetroCaribe to use and pay for this use of the existing port owned by WIN Group which is owned by the Mev family of Haiti. PetroCaribe long recognised the need for the Haitian state to own its own port and energy products storage facilities because the Haitian retail energy market is dominated by SOL Petroleum owned by Kyffin Simpson of Barbados and GB Energy owned by GB Group of Haiti the largest single indigenous private sector entity in Haiti. Both Sol Petroleum and GB Energy are globalised energy products retailers/distributors. GB Group the parent holding company of GB Energy is presently building the Lafito Industrial Free Zone which contains a modern port and energy products storage infrastructure. The failure of the Martelly government to invest in the necessary energy infrastructure and the escalating debt under PetroCaribe that maybe now is unmanageable has now resulted in the trip to hustle the government of T&T to enter into a geo-political quagmire. Will PetroCaribe supplied products be sold in gas stations branded NP? Is the Martelly government to be afforded a purchase agreement by the government of T&T like that of PetroCaribe? If not does the Martelly government have the funds to pay for energy on limited credit terms as 30 days or 60 days upon delivery? At the time when the Pointe a Pierre refinery is down for the count the T&T government runs the risk of destroying the opportunity to return the refinery to viability on a cash flow basis. The opportunity to attach the Pointe a Pierre refinery to the heavy oil fields of Venezuela where oil from the upgraders of the Orinoco heavy oil belt will be refined in T&T then exported to world markets especially China must now be fully explored in pursuing the interests of the people of T&T. We run the risk of further raising the ire of the Venezuelan government with this profitless sojourn in Haiti where we will further remove pieces of our nose further spoiling the face we present to Venezuela. By far the most laughable aspect of the hustle was the state of T&T through state owned companies exploring for energy in Haiti. This is coming from a state sector where the best acreage under the control of Petrotrin is either chronically underdeveloped or has been divested to private sector entities. Where the NGC is simply a hustler created by law as they produce no gas but they sell gas to end users. These entities will now be transnational exploration entities. You must laugh because the reality demands tears as even Alice’s wonderland is a paradise compared to T&T. The ultimate reality is that the agreement between T&T and Haiti must be approved by the Haitian legislature and as the Martelly presidency enters its final days under the constitution the Haitian senate is fractured.

Link 1 reports on Martelly’s statement in Florida in public where he attacked Cuba and Venezuela for being communists/socialists. Love on the rocks or problems with paying Haiti’s debt to Venezuela?

Link 2 is one Haitian report on the T&T deal which insists T&T get hustled.

Link 3 reports on the fractured nature of politics in the Haitian Senate today.

Links 5,6 and 7 are the websites of the Haitian private sector energy players.

Link 8 reports on the debt to Venzuela

It must be understood that cooking with a 20lb cylinder of cooking gas/LPG in Haiti is a luxury. The chronic endemic poverty of Haiti has people cooking on charcoal. PetroCaribe LPG came in at a price to encourage more Haitians to switch to LPG. Is T&T LPG coming in at the same price or is back to coals and coal pot?

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