Curaҫao takes important step towards a sustainable energy future with Wärtsilä Battery Energy Storage System

News Americas, WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao, Mon. May 20, 2024: Technology group Wärtsilä will supply the Caribbean island of Curaҫao with a 25 MW / 25 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). The system will enable the expansion of renewable energy capacity and the reduction of carbon emissions, representing an important step towards a sustainable energy future for the island. The order was placed by Aqualectra, Curacao’s government owned utilities company, and will be booked by Wärtsilä in Q2, 2024.

Aqualectra and Wärtsilä representatives celebrate the order of a 25 MW / 25 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to the Caribbean island of Curaҫao. From left to right: Rudolf Garmes, Joseph Everon, Reagan Celestijn, Marc Tarbox, Tganni Louisy, Neysa Isenia, Vianney Muzo, Staffan Nygard, Mathias West, Christoffer Ek, Edul Raphaela, Granger Jahnastasio.

The BESS and the GEMS Digital Energy Platform will provide grid stability and reliability, reduce unserved energy and help mitigate the risk of brownouts and blackouts. In addition, the BESS system will allow Aqualectra to expand their renewables’ vision thus allowing more renewable generation in the power system. The BESS system will also help smooth the intermittency of renewables.

“Aqualectra’s strategic objective is to provide the community with affordable, sustainable, and reliable electricity. The Wärtsilä solution will support all these objectives through reducing generation costs, enabling the integration of renewables, and decreasing CO2 emissions, while providing high reliability,” comments Joseph Everon, Advisor to the CTO at Aqualectra.

The order with Wärtsilä follows a detailed modelling of the power system to determine the best way forward.

“The BESS and GEMS provide the reserves needed to improve asset loading, and therefore efficiency, availability of energy, grid stability and reliability. Wärtsilä’s leading technologies and our capabilities of lifecycle services will support Aqualectra’s vision of a sustainable energy future. We are pleased to continue our close partnership with this project,” says Christoffer Ek, Director of Decarbonisation services at Wärtsilä Energy.

“The Caribbean has been an important region for Wärtsilä for decades and we have established many long-term relationships over that time. Aqualectra has been one of those great partners and this announcement to add BESS to their system with Wärtsilä is another sign of that strong relationship. Wärtsilä is here with solutions and capabilities for the Caribbean, and we are excited to continue serving this market for decades to come,” says Jon Rodriguez, Energy Business Director at Wärtsilä Energy.

The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery in Q1/2025, and the project is expected to be fully operational by the end of Q2/2025.

Aqualectra is an existing Wärtsilä customer. The company operates three Wärtsilä engine power plants comprising a total of 16 generating sets.

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Wärtsilä Energy in brief
Wärtsilä Energy is at the forefront of the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers and the power sector to accelerate their decarbonisation journeys through our market-leading technologies and power system expertise. Our solutions include flexible engine power plants, energy storage and optimisation technology, and services for the whole lifecycle of our installations. Our engines are future-proof and can run on sustainable fuels. Our track record comprises 79 GW of power plant capacity, of which 18 GW are under service agreements, and over 125 energy storage systems, in 180 countries around the world.

Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,800 professionals in more than 280 locations in 79 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2023, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 6.0 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.

The Best Caribbean Countries to Invest In or Do Business For 2024

News Americas, New York, NY, May 19, 2024: The 2024 list of the Best Countries in the World to do business, published by CEOWORLD magazine, has been released, highlighting the Top Caribbean nations for investment and business opportunities. The rankings were determined using 11 different factors, including corruption levels, freedom (personal, trade, and monetary), workforce quality, investor protection, infrastructure, taxes, quality of life, bureaucratic red tape, and technological readiness. Each factor was given equal weight in the evaluation process.

The Best Caribbean Countries For 2024 Are:

Antigua and Barbuda: Topping the list, Antigua and Barbuda is celebrated for its investor-friendly policies, strategic location, and robust tourism sector, which provides numerous business opportunities. The country’s Citizenship by Investment program also make it an attractive destination for investors.

Saint Kitts and Nevis: Known for its citizenship-by-investment program, Saint Kitts and Nevis offers a favorable business climate. The nation’s economy benefits from tourism and real estate investment with a Citizenship by Investment program, with significant potential for growth.

Grenada: Grenada’s growing economy is bolstered by tourism and agriculture. The government’s proactive stance on economic reforms and infrastructure development enhances its appeal to international investors as does its Citizenship by Investment program.

Dominica: Dominica is recognized for its natural beauty and eco-tourism potential. The country’s efforts to attract foreign investment through its citizenship-by-investment program and focus on sustainable development make it a promising destination for business ventures.

Saint Lucia: With a diversified economy that includes tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture, Saint Lucia offers a stable business environment. The government’s incentives for foreign investors and improvements in infrastructure contribute to its high ranking as does its Citizenship by Investment program.

Cuba: Despite historical challenges, Cuba is gradually opening up to foreign investment. The government has implemented reforms to attract international business, particularly in the tourism, energy, and biotechnology sectors.

Dominican Republic: As one of the largest economies in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic offers extensive opportunities in tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture. Its strategic location and ongoing infrastructure projects enhance its investment appeal.

Trinidad and Tobago: Known for its rich natural resources, Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is driven by the energy sector. The country is also focusing on diversifying its economy, making it an attractive destination for investment in various industries.

Jamaica: Jamaica’s vibrant culture and robust tourism industry provide a solid foundation for business. The government’s commitment to improving the business climate through regulatory reforms and infrastructure development boosts its attractiveness to investors.

Guyana: Guyana is rapidly emerging as a prime investment destination, attracting attention from global investors due to its vast natural resources, strategic location, and pro-business environment. Guyana has become a major player in the global oil market following the discovery of significant offshore oil reserves. The ExxonMobil-led consortium’s successful exploration has positioned Guyana to become one of the world’s largest oil producers per capita. This oil boom is driving economic growth, creating opportunities for investment in various sectors including energy, infrastructure, and services. Despite the positive strides, businesses may still face challenges such as bureaucratic inefficiencies, limited access to finance, and infrastructural constraints in some areas. However, the government continues some reforms and development projects aimed at addressing these issues.

The Caribbean region, according to officials at Invest Caribbean, continues to present numerous opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs. With strategic locations, diverse economies, and government initiatives aimed at enhancing business climates, these nations offer promising prospects for growth and development. As the global business landscape evolves, the Caribbean’s commitment to improving infrastructure, reducing bureaucratic hurdles, and fostering innovation will likely enhance its appeal as a premier destination for investment.

Global Context
The 2024 report from CEOWORLD magazine analyzed 199 countries based on their business and investment environments. Key factors in the evaluation included the ease of doing business and the mobility of investors and skilled employees. On a global scale, Singapore was ranked as the best country in the world for investing or doing business in 2024, followed by the United Kingdom in second place, Taiwan in third, India in fourth, and Indonesia in fifth.

The detailed assessment considered each country’s regulatory environment, economic stability, and overall business climate. These rankings provide valuable insights for investors and businesses looking to expand or establish operations in the Caribbean and beyond.

Dominican Republic President Secures Second Term

News Americas, New York, NY, Mon. May 19, 2024: Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader has secured a second term in office, winning decisively in the first round of elections, according to preliminary results. The president’s victory reflects strong public approval of his economic management and stringent policies on migration from neighboring Haiti.

Dominican Republic’s President and presidential candidate for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Luis Abinader, gestures during a message to supporters after the first results of the general elections in Santo Domingo on May 19, 2024. Luis Abinader declared his re-election for a second four-year term, shortly after receiving the concession from his two main rivals with just over 20% of the votes counted. (Photo by FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images)

With just over half of the votes counted, Abinader held a commanding lead with 58.85 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, former three-time President Leonel Fernandez, garnered 27.29 percent, as reported by electoral authorities. The substantial margin prompted Fernandez and another contender, Abel Martinez, to concede on Sunday night.

“Today our country shines with its own light,” Abinader declared to his supporters at the headquarters of his Modern Revolutionary Party. He pledged to lead with unity and impartiality, calling for a nation “without distinction, without sectarianism, and without party colors.”

A member of the Military Electoral Police frisks a man before he entered a polling station to vote during the general elections in Santo Domingo on May 19, 2024. (Photo by FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images)

Abinader also committed to constitutional reforms to ensure the continuity of power would not be subject to the “personal whim” of the sitting president, reaffirming that he would not seek a third term.

Despite reports of minor irregularities from opposition parties, the election process was largely smooth. The 2024 elections saw high voter turnout, likely influenced by lingering dissatisfaction from the 2020 municipal elections, which were suspended due to a technical glitch.

Luis Fortuno, an international observer and former governor of Puerto Rico, remarked, “In general, the electoral process was carried out correctly, openly, and democratically.”

Abinader’s victory signals strong support for his administration’s policies, particularly his tough stance on migration from Haiti. During his first term, Abinader initiated the construction of a 164km (102-mile) concrete wall along the Haitian border and deported over 250,000 undocumented migrants in 2023. These actions, while criticized internationally, have been popular domestically.

Voter Willy Soto, 21, expressed approval for Abinader’s migration policies, stating, “The policies he’s implemented, how he’s cracked down, closed the border and built a wall, I feel like it’s a good initiative to control the problem of Haitian migration.”

Javier Taveras, 38, shared a nuanced view, supporting the preservation of national sovereignty while opposing abuse against Haitians. He voiced uncertainty about the wall’s effectiveness but affirmed his support for maintaining stringent border controls.

Human rights groups have criticized Abinader’s migration policies as racist and in violation of international law. However, the president’s focus on national security and anti-corruption measures has resonated with many voters.

Abinader, a U.S.-trained economist of Lebanese descent, was first elected in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. His administration has worked to restore public trust following several corruption scandals involving high-profile officials.

As he prepares for his second term, Abinader faces the challenge of balancing national security concerns with international human rights standards, while continuing to address the economic and social issues facing the Dominican Republic.