September 25, 2007
Venezuelan officials are in Belize to begin the setting up of two fuel storage tanks, each with a capacity of 10 thousand barrels. A tendering process has been set up to invite Belizeans to bid for the construction of two fuel tanks. Construction of the tanks should begin in December and should be completed by June next year. The two tanks are the first of four that are to be constructed at the Big Creek location. A Government release says this venture will provide numerous jobs for Belizeans, both in the construction phase and in the subsequent administration of the facilities. This is a part of the Petro Caribe initiative of which Belize is a part. In Belize, Petro Caribe has already begun operations in Southern Belize at Big Creek. Under the Petro Caribe agreement Belize is to import gasoline and diesel through a special credit agreement. The agreement calls for Belize to buy fuel at 60 percent of invoice value which is payable within 90 days while the remaining 40 percent is to be paid to Venezuela over a 23 year period at one percent interest rate. In addition the agreement provides for a three year moratorium before payment begins. In the interim the 40 percent savings from fuel acquisition can be used for human development projects to improve the living conditions of the Belizean people. Belize can also exercise the option of paying its fuel debt to Venezuela through the exportation of agricultural products. Belize presently consumes two point six thousand barrels of fuel per day.

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