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October Tuesday

Cuban government gives priority to problems affecting electric service

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 17 (ACN) Since early this month, new technical problems and breakdowns in thermal and distributed generation in several power plants have caused limitations to this important service; however, the Cuban state prioritizes it in the midst of shortages caused by the pandemic and the U.S. economic blockade.

Livan Arronte Cruz, minister of energy and mines ( MINEM), and executives of the Electric Association spoke about the current situation and prospects in this branch of the economy and the contingency measures adopted on Thursday at the Informative program Mesa Redonda.

In just one month, Cuba spends between 150 and 200 million dollars to import all the fuel for the national electric system (SEN by its Spanish acronym), said the head of the body, in addition to specifying that 40.6 % of the generation corresponds to the existing thermoelectric power plants (CTE by its Spanish acronym) in the country, with a total of 20 units in operation.

Most of these have been in operation for 30 to 40 years and face technological limitations, as well as the lack of replacement of many of their equipment, which has led to a decrease in their technical availability.

For his part, Edier Guzman Pacheco, director of thermal generation of the Electrical Association (UNE), stated that, given the serious effects on the availability of electricity generation to meet the country's demand, it is expected that before the end of 2021, UNE will be able to recover 608 megawatts (MW), with a view to gradually improve the operational reserve of the SEN.

This process, made possible thanks to the financing provided by the Cuban government, will reduce blackouts in the residential and state sectors.

Regarding some people's opinions on whether it is not now counterproductive to sell household appliances in stores in freely convertible currencies, or to allow the importation by travelers of those means that constitute renewable energy sources, officials explained that there is enough installed capacity to assimilate them.

Tatiana Amaran, deputy minister of energy and mines, informed at the TV program that the measures to be adopted in view of the current contingency are those foreseen in the plans of the Energy Councils, headed by local governments, regarding energy restrictions for the state sector, while insisting on actions aimed at saving electricity in households.

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