Haiti Now Part of Petrocaribe, to Get 11,000b/d of Fuel

Haiti became on Sunday the 14th national state of the Caribbean to gain full membership of Petrocaribe, the energy cooperation scheme being promoted by Venezuela, according to an article in Monday's edition of Caracas daily El Universal.

Haiti's President-elect Rene Preval and Venezuela's vice-president Jose Vicente Rangel signed the act of agreement to include Haiti in Petrocaribe in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince on Sunday, the same day Preval was sworn in for his second term as Haiti's president.

Under the agreement, Haiti is to get 7,000 barrels a day (b/d) of fuel. Another 4,000b/d will come through the San Jose agreement, an older energy cooperation scheme with different conditions.

Under Petrocaribe, Haiti will pay market prices for its fuel, but will be able to finance up to 60% of the bill over 90 days, while the remaining 40% is to be financed over 25 years, with a two-year grace period and annual interest rates of 1%.

Rangel was also quoted as saying that a vessel, the Neptune, carrying 60,000 barrels of diesel and 40,000b of gasoline had already arrived in Haiti. Part of the shipment was in line with the agreement and another a "donation" to the electricity service, especially for hospitals.

Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA has said transportation, refining and storage shortages in the Caribbean region need to be addressed before the scheme can have a full impact.

Petrocaribe members currently include the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Suriname plus a Nicaraguan cooperative.

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