Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINLEC), Thornley Myers has refuted allegations made by Opposition leader, Hon. Arnhim Eustace that the debt owed by St Vincent under the PetroCaribe agreement is $900 million.
Speaking on WEFM in St Vincent , Mr. Myers said that all fuel imported into the country under the PetroCaribe agreement since June 2006, has been assigned to VINLEC.
He noted that since 2006 “we have had close to 100 landings and the total fuel consumed during that period is in excess of 37 million gallons with prices ranging from $59 to $169 per barrel, therefore the value of the fuel imported during that period assigned to VINLEC is $340 million.
Since its creation, Petrocaribe has served as an important financing mechanism for oil-importing countries in the region. It introduced a lending scheme for oil purchases from Venezuela where conditionalities adjust to price fluctuations among predetermined thresholds.
As a result, if the oil barrel falls below US$40, up to 30 percent of the bill will be financed by a 17-year loan, with a two-year grace period and an interest rate of 2 percent. Similarly, when the barrel exceeds US$40, the term for payment is extended to 25 years, with a two-year grace period and the interest rate falls to 1 percent.
Mr. Myers said based on these figures, the debt owed to PetroCaribe could never be $900 million.
Mr. Myers said he agrees with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, that the debt is in the region of $160 million.
Petrocaribe is an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. The alliance was launched on 29 June 2005 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.
Written from sourced news.