St Lucia Readies For First Shipment of PetroCaribe Fuel From Venezuela

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Above: St Lucia

By the Caribbean Journal staff

St Lucia is readying for the first shipment of fuel under the island’s PetroCaribe agreement with Venezuela.

Officials from Venezuela’s PDVSA recently visited St Lucia to prepare the initial stages for the delivery, which follows St Lucia’s accession to the Venezuela-led ALBA Alliance and PetroCaribe.

“They [were] here so that they can get more information and assist in establishing the entity that will be responsible for the operating aspect, so that upon their return they can prepare a roadmap for the initial stages of the pumping of the fuel,” said Hippolyte Eustace Vitalis, St Lucia’s Ambassador to PetroCaribe and ALBA.

The Venezuelan officials held talks with local commercial stakeholders and government officials, according to a St Lucian government statement.

“We met with people from [St Lucia’s electric utility], finance people, the Bureau of Standards and we talked about technical aspects that are needed in order to accomplish contracts, and administrative steps to initiate the product supply,” said Daniel Comoretto, PDV Caribe Sales and Marketing Manager.

The group also held talks with the Buckeye oil company.

“The intention is not to take 100 percent of the market. That is very important because a lot of the discussions that have gone around gives the impression that the government intends to establish private or government fuel stations,” Vitalis said. “That is not the intention. The intention is to work with the present players.”

Vitalis said the intention was in fact to occupy “only a small segment of the local market.”