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Sep 14, 2017

Petrocaribe Purchases Suspended! Local Agent Says Venezuela Supply Not Reliable

A release issued late this evening dropped a bombshell – Petrocaribe has stopped rolling, for now and quite possibly forever.  The decision comes on the heels of an announcement by the Government just a week ago that it plans to raise fuel prices, which it blamed on damage to oil refineries in Houston, Texas, due to Hurricane Harvey.  For this reason, the fuel companies had been trucking in refined oil overland from El Salvador at greater prices. But the long-standing agreement with Trafigura/Puma and Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. under the Petrocaribe is tonight suspended, according to a statement from Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited (APBEL). And it appears to be the Venezuelans’ fault. The APBEL release states that since early this year, there have been a number of problems with maintaining a reliable supply of products from PDVSA.  This has, among other things, resulted in much higher unit costs of freight since Puma has been forced to make last-minute arrangements to truck products overland and when vessels are brought in half-loaded. APBEL states that it has been informed by PDVSA that, at times, they have had to purchase on the spot market to meet their commitments to Belize which was not intended by the Petrocaribe program.  The release says that later this month, a meeting will be held to determine the future of the program and the choices are stark – possible resumption or deciding on a suitable way forward. If indeed this is the end, it comes after an unprecedented decade-long run of borrowing at minimal interest rates, with figures of close to five hundred million dollars quoted. What we know for sure is that as of February, 2016, according to Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Belize had but fifteen million dollars left in Petrocaribe – and that was before the massive compensations due for Belize Telemedia Limited later in the year. It is expected that the General Manager of APBEL, John Mencias, will be providing further details on Friday.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Petrocaribe Purchases Suspended! Local Agent Says Venezuela Supply Not Reliable”

  1. carlos says:

    The party celebrations for the UDP government is over. Now it is we, the Belizean people who are left to pay. It’s pay time and of course we should not complain now . We done eat the tacos.

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