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JIS News

Commerce, Science and Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell has expressed satisfaction with the terms of the energy cooperation agreement signed between Jamaica and Venezuela, noting that Jamaica stood to benefit greatly from the initiative.
“One of the benefits from this agreement will mean that Jamaica would not have to pay out in foreign exchange up front up to 40 per cent of our purchases of petroleum products from Venezuela. Under this agreement, we would be able to finance up to 25 years purchases at an interest rate of one per cent, which really is a tremendous soft loan for the country”, he told JIS News.
He said that there were also other aspects to the agreement, which would enable Jamaica to become self sufficient in producing some petroleum products now being imported, and even to export refined products.
Prime Minister P. J. Patterson and Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, yesterday (Aug. 23), signed the energy agreement, which will see Venezuela supplying 21,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Petrojam Refinery. The agreement is one of the initiatives under the PetroCaribe initiative.
Under the terms of the agreement, Jamaica stands to benefit by way of a US$40 loan for each barrel purchased at a one per cent interest rate, in addition to a two-year grace period with a 25-year payment period.
Meanwhile, at a press conference held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel to provide details of the deal, the Prime Minister dismissed arguments that the agreement would be harmful to Jamaica/Trinidad and Tobago relations, in respect to the purchase of oil and other energy products from that twin island republic.
In fact, the Prime Minister said that Jamaica would still need to purchase refined products from Trinidad and Tobago to meet market demand.
Further, he said that, “in so far as our agreement with Trinidad is concerned for the establishment of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant facility, those discussions, in accordance with our agreement, are proceeding satisfactorily.”