The State Electrical Union (UNE) of Cuba announced on Monday that unit 1 of the Lidio Ramón Pérez Thermoelectric Plant in Felton, Holguín, is no longer in service for at least 13 days, to undergo maintenance. Of this, the island’s electricity system lost about 275 MW, which the authorities hope will be compensated by power plants and generator sets.
According to journalist José Miguel Solís, from the official Radio Rebelde, the shutdown of the Holguin plant, the most efficient and reliable in the country, comes after remaining uninterrupted for 213 days, providing energy for a period that, according to him, constitutes a national record.
Solís contributed, without citing the source, that “to a large extent, the strength of Felton 1 is due not only to the technical skills of its engineers and workers but also to the use of a Venezuelan oil tanker from the Merey line, with better properties than the national one. “Merey oil is a mixture of light and heavy crude oil, with a low percentage of sulfur and asphaltenes, properties that produce less scale and corrosion in boilers.”
However, the reporter commented on his Facebook profile: Since it is no longer in service, “the inferior power of the East is emphasized, which must be provided by the distributed generation.”
According to Solís, after UNE did not report blackouts on Sunday due to a generation deficit, as of Monday, it was 83 MW short of meeting the country’s demand.
The official note from the state entity added that apart from Felton 1, units 5 of Thermoelectric de Mariel and 1 of Santa Cruz de Norte are under maintenance. Unit 3 of the Renté Thermoelectric Plant is out of service due to damage.
The UNE program, whose officials assured that the lack of fuel in the past days, responsible for the return of many blackouts, will be resolved, includes the production of 128 MW with generator sets that are under maintenance but whose start was authorized by covering the deficit, as well as the “recovery of 50 MW of distributed generation plants and the entry of four engines” from Turkish ships anchored in the Bay of Havana, which will add 68 MW.
As expected, all eyes are directed to the Antonio Guiteras Thermoelectric Plant, whose frequent breakdowns disrupt the plans of the authorities and cause blackouts.
According to Solís, “the engineer Román Pérez Castañeda, technical director of the Yumurina generation industry, commented that they are now online for 15 days with a power available around (SIC) 275MW, without threats of see.”
However, this is not the first time that an “unexpected” destruction or destruction of that or other plants has destroyed forecasts and caused new blackouts in the country.
Last week, Lázaro Guerra Hernández, technical director of UNE, said on national television that “in the coming days the trend is to improve because the necessary fuel will be available, which will reduce the possibility of blackouts in the country.”
The official then expects to leave the Felton 1 system, whose maintenance will aim “to be in better condition by the end of the year.”
However, in the same appearance, the officials revealed that in addition to the critical condition of the thermoelectric plants, the fluctuation of the supply of oil from Venezuela, the Russian fuel shipment agreement that has not yet started, problems in quality imported, and the non-payment of leased vessels responsible for fuel cabotage between thermoelectric plants in the country, I mean, many factors could compromise the future of Cuba’s electricity supply.