Prime Minister's Deputy Press Secretary
Friday, September 22, 2006 – The PetroCaribe agreement, which is to be
signed soon between Saint Lucia and Venezuela, will provide relief to the
majority of St. Lucian households. That's according to Prime Minister Dr Kenny
A Venezuelan delegation led by an official of the Venezuelan state oil company,
Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) was in St. Lucia Thursday to meet with Prime
Minister Anthony and members of the Energy Task Force led by Managing Director
of the St. Lucia Electricity Services Company Limited (LUCELEC) Mr Trevor Louisy
and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Mr Louis Lewis.
The Government of Saint Lucia remains concern about the spiralling cost of fuel
on the world market and has explored measures to reduce the cost of this vital
resource to consumers. The negotiations have now concluded and the road is now
clear for a the signing of the bilateral agreement to govern St. Lucia's access
to a cheaper source of petroleum-based energy.
In a statement following the meeting, the Prime Minister said the fuel to be
received under PetroCaribe will be partly utilised to reduce the cost of
electricity top the average Saint Lucian.
Dr. Anthony said cheaper electricity for Saint Lucians is an immediate goal of
his government. “As far as the Government is concerned, our priority will be to
try to get a cheaper fuel to LUCEEC so that they can reduce the cost of
generation of of electricity.”
He said this course was being taken “because it is really the fuel surcharge
that is causing a lot of the pain to ordinary citizens.” He said the dialogue
held here with the PDVSA officials was part of ensuring the systems are in place
to achieved the desired outcome of reducing electricity costs for Saint Lucians.
Under the terms of the bilateral agreement, a local joint company will be
established with responsibility for accessing the fuel from Venezuela, as well
as supplying LUCELEC with it's requirements.
St. Lucia is signing on to the agreement after several other CARICOM countries
have already implemented. Dr Anthony says it is an opportunity to learn from the
experiences of other territories already benefiting from the agreement.
The Alba Fund, which is part of the PetroCaribe Fund was discussed with the
Prime Minister Anthony says the fund presents the opportunity for government to
access additional financing for social sector development projects.
The Government of St. Lucia has aggressively pursued funding for poverty
eradication, as well as to address prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS.
The PetroCaribe agreement will provide 1,700 barrels per day of petroleum-based
products, which will be stored at the Cul-De-Sac facility owned by Hess Oil (St.
Under PetroCaribe, the Venezuelans will provide 62% of the island's
petroleum-based energy needs.