Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says approximately 23,000 barrels of oil will arrive here by the end of this month under Venezuela’s PetroCaribe agreement.
Gonsalves told a news conference that the logistics regarding the importation of the oil are still being worked out with the St. Vincent Electricity Services (VINLEC) regarding storage capacity.
“Assuming everything goes to plan…sometime before the end of this month, we should be seeing the first shipment of diesel back with the resumption of the PetroCaribe agreement,” Gonsalves told reporters.
In April, Prime Minister Gonsalves said Caracas has agreed to cancel St Vincent and the Grenadines’ debt under PetroCaribe, its oil initiative with Latin American and Caribbean countries. He said as a result, this could result in the national debt declining by nine per cent.
He said Kingstown and Caracas are tallying the precise size of the debt and that “it may be up to US$70 million, meaning EC$189 million”.
Gonsalves said Venezuela would half the debt of the other member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean (OECS) that are members of PetroCaribe, which will now be reset to offer fuel at 35 per cent discount to participating countries.
Gonsalves said there would also be a revival of PetroCaribe, which has been brought to a screeching halt effectively by certain sanctions. (CMC)