The Cabinet of Ministers has agreed to Saint Lucia joining Petro Caribe.
This will make it possible for the country to receive a regular supply of petroleum products from Venezuela under the Petro Caribe arrangements that are currently being utilized by several other nations in the Caribbean.
The decision to proceed with Petro Caribe was taken against a background of ever-escalating fuel costs and the adverse impact this was having on our economy, which is totally dependent on imported petroleum products.
While our government is committed to making the transition to renewable sources of energy, Saint Lucia will continue to rely on imported petroleum as its main source of energy for the foreseeable future. Petro Caribe gives government greater flexibility to manage and stabilise the prices of petroleum products on the local market. Equally importantly, the revenue that is derived from the Petro Caribe arrangements will be used to invest in social development programmes and social infrastructure in Saint Lucia, as has been done successfully in neighbouring Caribbean countries.
Government believes there is tremendous benefit in Saint Lucia entering into these arrangements at this time, as it allows us to learn from the mistakes and challenges that have been encountered by our sister islands and put measures in place to ensure that these problems do not feature in Saint Lucia’s context.
Moreover, Petro Caribe will provide a measure of certainty in the supply of petroleum products to Saint Lucia regardless what happens with the proposed sale of the Hess Oil Terminal Facility by its owners, the Hess Corporation.