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Jun 9, 2006

Belize signs oil M.O.U. with Venezuela

Story PictureBelize is one step closer to the implementation of an oil agreement with Venezuela. On Thursday the two countries inked a document for the formation of a joint venture company, ALBA Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited. With this latest signing, Belize can now commence construction of storage tanks for the distribution of refined petroleum products from Venezuela. According to Minister of Public Utilities, Ralph Fonseca, the agreement with Venezuela is a demonstration of the continued good relations between the two countries.

Ralph Fonseca, Minister of Public Utilities
?Your presence is a concrete demonstration of your determination to carry out the intent of the PetroCaribe agreement to its fullest extent and your political will and determination to forge on with the excellent relationship between our peoples and nations, which has a rich history of continued economic and technical cooperation.?

?The join venture has Belizean and Venezuelan directors. The articles insist that all major policy decisions of the venture required mutual consent. So the PetroCaribe agreement is being executed by Belize and Venezuela in a timely and prudent manner, always bearing in mind that the primary objective is to alleviate poverty and increase energy security.?

Signing the agreement for Belize was Chair of Belize Petroleum Energy Limited, Crescencio Sosa, while Alejandro Granado Ravelo, Vice President of Petroleos de Venezuela did the honours for his country.

Belize is one thirteen CARICOM members who have signed a petroleum agreement with Venezuela’s PetroCaribe. Under the deal, G.O.B. is only required to pay sixty percent of the cost of the oil when the market price exceeds fifty U.S. dollars per barrel. The remaining forty percent becomes a long term, low-interest loan to be used for poverty alleviation projects. Repayments will begin after a two-year grace period. The terms of the loan is twenty-three years at one percent annual interest. Venezuela’s first oil shipment to Belize was on November eighth, 2005.

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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