The Republic of Suriname, in the middle of the three Guyana’s, is situated at the north-eastern coast of South-America, between 2 and 6 degrees northern latitude, and 54 and 58 degrees western longitude. It borders in the north on the Atlantic Ocean, in the west on Guyana, in the east on French Guyana and in the south on Brazil. The nation’s territory covers an area of 163,820 sq. km and has about 492,829 inhabitants. The name Suriname has probably been derives from Surinen, a former Amerindian tribe in the area. Suriname also used to be called Dutch-Guyana. Suriname has a multiracial population with a diversity of cultural expressions. The original inhabitants are the Amerindians. The ethnic variety finds its origin in the colonial period, in which the Negroes were imported from Africa as slaves, the Hindustanis, Javanese and Chinese as indentured laborers, while Lebanese, Jews and Europeans settled down as well. Because of the integration between the various types developed, the so called “melting pot”.
Just as diverse as the composition of the population is, so too are the spoken languages in the territory. In Suriname not less than fifteen native languages are spoken. The official language is Dutch, while all Surinamers can communicate with one another through the use of the lingua franca, Sranantongo. Other languages are: Hindi, Javanese, Chinese, English, and about nine other tribal languages of the indigenous and the Bushnegroes. Suriname is a parliamentary democracy and has an elected president heading the government. (Source: Paramaribo Guide)
Brokopondo Overeenkomst (Brokopondo Agreement) enacted into law in 1958 which speaks to an agreement between the Government of Suriname and Suralco L.L.D. concerning the development of the hydropower potentials.
2009 RE Developments
R. Ramataur is the Manager of Renewable Energy Sources at Staatsolie Maatschappji Suriname N.V./ State Oil Company of Suriname.
Within the scope of Staatsolie’s Vision 2020, identifying renewable energy projects is a strategic objective to transform the organization from an oil company to an energy company.
The newly established directorate Business Development is responsible for developing policies and projects regarding Renewable Energy.
For 2009 an amount of US$ 0.5 million was allocated for feasibility studies and the identification of renewable energy projects in Suriname. In the first half of 2009 the study regarding the sugarcane cultivation for ethanol production was finished. Currently a study for the construction of an ethanol drying plant is in progress. Staatsolie has shown interest in the Tapanahony-Jaikreek Hydro Power Project and in the coming period will conduct several social & environment impact and feasibility studies.
In July 2009, Staatsolie was appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources as the coordinator and advisor with regard to hydro energy projects in Suriname.
The generation of electrical energy from the hydro powerhouse at Afobaka, was reduced to normal level, after a period of increased inflow of water into the Van Blommenstein Lake. As of August 17, 2009, Staatsolie Power Company Suriname (SPCS) restarted its operations by delivering 7 MW to the local electricity company EBS, with the expectation to increase to maximum capacity of 14 MW.
2008 RE Developments
One of the strategic goals of Staatsolie was to formulate a policy regarding renewable energy and the conclusion of a portfolio of feasibility studies. In 2008, several options of producing bio-fuels in Suriname were evaluated. While renewable energy sources hold great promise for the future, only feasible projects based on proven technology, will be considered by Staatsolie.
In Staatsolie’s Strategic Plan 2008-2012, the company would also be active as a producer of bio-fuels, hydropower and thermal power.
The production target for Staatsolie Power Company Suriname (SPCS) for 2008 was set at 61,000 MWh of electrical energy, anticipating a normal inflow of water into the Van Blommenstein Hydro-power Lake. However, lake levels resulted in a limited generation of 3,000 MWh electrical power. At critical times, however, SPCS proved its value by continuing to supply electricity to Paramaribo.
- -Support to the Energy Sector: Renewable and Bioenergy- Project
- -Solar radio-site system to power Digicel’s network coverage in remote areas of Suriname.