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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 7, 2007


Advancing Biofuels Cooperation with St. Kitts and Nevis

The Governments of the United States and Brazil have joined to provide technical assistance to the government of St. Kitts and Nevis to assist in the Caribbean country's efforts to develop a biofuels energy industry derived from sugar cane. 

This support was announced December 5, 2007 by representatives from the United States, Brazil, and partner organizations during a meeting with St. Kitts and Nevis Minister for Sustainable Development Nigel Carty at the Caribbean-Central American Action Conference in Miami, Florida. They will meet again in February to take stock of their common efforts.

The assistance will be provided under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Advance Cooperation on Biofuels, signed by the U.S. and Brazil in March 2007. Under this MOU, St. Kitts and Nevis will receive technical assistance in the form of: expert assessments of agricultural land availability for sugar production; assistance in completing a proposed national energy policy; capacity-building support for key decision makers; and support for building investor interest in the planned biofuels industry.

For centuries, the sugar industry dominated the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis before high production costs and falling world sugar prices led to its collapse. However, rising energy prices, and the country's absolute dependence on imported petroleum products for both electricity and transportation services, have prompted efforts to revive sugarcane production for the generation of renewable energy.

The United States and Brazil are also providing technical assistance to the Governments of Haiti, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, as these nations pursue the production of biofuels for domestic consumption. The OAS, Inter American Development Bank and UN Foundations are partners in this cooperation. All parties to this Initiative are currently meeting in Miami to advance this effort and additional announcements will follow in the next few weeks.

2007/1109


Released on December 7, 2007

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