A Russian Oil Tanker, the Third Since July, is Heading for Cuba with 700,000 Barrels of Crude

The Kazan loaded 700,000 barrels in the Baltic port of Primorsk, bound for a refinery in Havana. (Vessel Finder)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 16 September 2022 — Shipments of crude oil from Russia to Cuba are becoming more frequent. The Transsib Bridge had barely arrived in Matanzas when an oil tanker of the same company, the Kazan, loaded 700,000 barrels in the Baltic port of Primorsk, bound for a refinery in Havana, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon, released this Thursday by Reuters.

The ship is expected to arrive at the end of this month. It travels with the flag of Liberia and belongs to Sun Ship Management, a unit of the Russian company Sovcomflot, which has been sanctioned by the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, and has lost the insurance of Western companies for its fleet.

The owner is the same as that of the Transsib Bridge, which arrived last Wednesday in Matanzas to unload an undetermined amount of diesel. The tanker left the port of Nakhodka (Russia) with 300,000 barrels and, after passing through the Panama Canal, docked in Cartagena (Colombia). Although it didn’t unload anything in that port, it could be carrying some cargo to another ship, so how much arrived on the Island is unknown.

In July, another Russian tanker, also from Sovcomflot and with the flag of Liberia, arrived at the port of Matanzas with 700,000 barrels of fuel, coming from Ust-Luga.

Russian fuel is fundamentally contributing to alleviating the energy distress that the Island is currently experiencing, although it’s still insufficient for the needs of Cuba, which this Friday again announced a 42% electricity deficit.

The Electricity Union expects a generation capacity of 2,100 MW and a maximum demand of 2,980 MW for today, but in the afternoon-night it will reach its peak, when 950 MW are missing.

It’s expected, therefore, that the blackouts and power outages will continue unresolved, since thermoelectric power plants continue to suffer constant exits from the National Electricity System, and the energy obtained through generators is also limited due to technical reasons and lack of fuel to power them.

Venezuela continues to send oil to its traditional ally and last August reached 81,000 barrels per day, an amount that hasn’t been recorded in years, motivated mainly by the increase in the production of the state oil company Pdvsa.

Despite international sanctions, Russia is increasing sales to Cuba exponentially, although it’s unknown how the Island pays for this crude oil that, in principle and the opposite of Venezuela, reaches market prices.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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