The electricity supply in Cuba's capital city is showing increasingly recurrent cuts as the aging power plants seem to be reaching their point of technical exhaustion.
Local authorities have said the country's energy situation was very complex and tense, but with a solution, which should feature foreign investment and projects with friendly countries, including the arrival of tankers with fuel to assist a population who undergo daily power cuts lasting several hours.
A source from Unión Eléctrica (UE), the state-run agency in charge of utilities, stressed that we are currently struggling with the consequences of a fire in one of the most important power plants on the island, the high number of breakdowns in plants which have been in use for over 35 years on average, the state of the country's electrical networks and the hot summer which increases demand.
So far there are no indications of sabotage or mishandling by the workers, the same source added about the fire, which hit one of the elbows of the fuel recirculation pipe and is expected to take about a year to repair.
Energy and Mines Minister Liván Aronte said that the electrical system will recover with the programs being developed and that new strategies implemented since June ahead of the hot Cuban summer would have granted the 740 megawatts needed for that time of the year, but other converging negative factors led to the current situation.
It is necessary to continue working on communication to consumers because the population must be aware of the breakdowns and their reasons, so as not to give rise to misinterpretations or misunderstandings, Aronte stressed in a TV appearance.
Blackouts have been widely repudiated by Cubans since the early 1990s, when, after the extinction of the USSR, the country endured power cuts that could last up to 10-12 hours.
The Cuban government blames the United States and its blockade for the deterioration of the energy sector in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prices have risen everywhere both for raw materials and oil as well as for the technology needed for repairs, Cuban state-run media reported.
Authorities have admitted that at present, the operating reserve we have in the National Energy System is insufficient to cover the demand, so service disruptions are inevitable.”