Regional cooperation in hydrocarbon and renewable energy sources

Updated On: Feb 3rd 2015

Integrating the natural gas resources of Trinidad and Tobago with the hydroelectric power of Guyana and Suriname into a grid to service the needs of the region for cheaper and cleaner energy is a project of the Point Lisas-based ENMAN Group proposed Wednesday to the Energy Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The proposal is for electricity to be transported from south Trinidad via a submarine cable to an industrial estate like Point Lisas on the eastern coast of Guyana. Electricity will then be transmitted overland and to Suriname.

In a future development stage, hydro-electric power, potentially in abundant supply in the two Caricom member states on South America will be sent through the submarine cable system to T&T to be distributed up the Caribbean chain of island nations.

“The project involves a public-private partnership approach we believe the time is right for it,” President of ENMAN, Donald Baldeosingh told the Energy Conference.

“We are looking for partners to contribute technical assistance and financial investment from institutions such as the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank to carry feasibilities studies to make the project a commercially bankable one,” Baldeosingh told the Trinidad & Tobago Energy Conference, organized by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago.

He estimates the submarine cable from T&T to Guyana and overland transport facilities to Suriname will cost US$1 billion.

He says the project should be started without delay, eventually involving a wide range of partners in the venture.

But Caricom countries must also have plans and programmes to break the present almost complete dependence on hydrocarbon resources for energy and to make optimum use of the region’s renewable resources.

In the context of climate change realities impacted by greater quantities of harmful carbon emissions from hydrocarbons, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre is developing a project to assist Caricom states to adapt and survive having to expend large quantities of financial resources on energy fuels which in turn contribute significantly to relatively large quantities of carbon emissions.

“By 2033, SIDS Dock (Small Islands Developing States) the project of Climate Change Centre will mobilise US$20 billion to invest in the transformation of the Energy Sector to achieve a 25% increase in energy efficiency, to receive 50% of electric power from renewable sources and a 25% decrease in conventional transportation fuel use,” Dr. Kenrick Leslie Executive Director of the Caribbean Climate Change Centre told the Energy Conference.