Shining a light on electricity costs in the Caribbean

Posted by Investt

energy costs in TrinidadTrinidad and Tobago continues to have the most dynamic economy in the English speaking Caribbean. It dominates trade and financial services in Caricom; it has the region’s strongest manufacturing sector, and one of the highest rates of foreign direct investment. Between 1994 and 2009, our nation experienced 15 years of solid economic growth with expansion in gross domestic product as high as 7 percent per annum.

This growth and the ability of the economy to withstand the recent global financial crisis have been due to the country’s strong fiscal position.

Trinidad and Tobago has the most diversified industrial base in the region, using its natural gas to produce clean and inexpensive electricity.

Energy costs are particularly important to the manufacturing sector. Local businesses, as well as foreign investors in the twin island republic, have been fortunate to have some of the lowest electricity prices in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The average price of electricity in Trinidad and Tobago is a mere US$ .03 cents per kilowatt (kWh) hour. This compares favourably with other Caribbean islands like Barbados that pays US$ .35 cents per kWh, and Antigua/Barbuda at US$ .38 cents per kWh.

Trinidad and Tobago power generation and transmission is highly reliable; government uses a mixture of private, public, and public/private sources of electricity production.

Power is generated by PowerGen, which produces 1184 megawatt (MW), while Trinity power produces another 220MW.

Only recently a new power plant, located in La Brea, increased Trinidad’s power generation by some 50 percent and represents a major contribution to the energy security of the country. This new combined-cycle plant has a high degree of operational flexibility and, with production at 765 MW, will support the rising demand for electricity in the region, while covering the fluctuating demand of the power grid in Trinidad.

With six gas turbines and two steam turbines, it will be able to operate in “open” (without steam turbines) or “combined” (with steam turbines) cycle.

In order to fulfil the stringent environmental regulations within Trinidad and Tobago, an innovative, self-contained air cooling system has been constructed which will render any sea water intakes unnecessary.

The investment in this infrastructure makes for a wide and reliable transmission grid that contributes to our competitiveness in the region.

Not surprisingly, the World Bank’s 2012 Doing Business Report (DBR) ranks Trinidad and Tobago at 24 of 183 economies on the ease of getting an electricity supply. This is against a regional average for Latin America and the Caribbean of 72.

According to the DBR, it takes just 5 procedures to get connected at a cost of 7.9% of income per capita.

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  • Arvind's gravatar Arvind said:
    1/2/2013 11:03 AM

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