14ymedio/EFE, Havana/Moscow, 7 September 2023 — Russia and Cuba addressed, on Thursday, the construction of new generating capacities for power plants on the Island, as reported by the Russian Ministry of Energy in a statement echoed by the Spanish agency EFE. “Electric energy plays a decisive role in the economy of the Republic of Cuba and must become the basis for the development of all industries,” said the Russian Deputy Minister of Energy, Yevgeny Grabchaka, during a meeting with the Cuban Minister of Energy and Mines, Vicente de la O Levy.
According to the report, both officials also discussed bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector, including issues related to crude oil extraction.
At the end of last month, De la O Levy met in Moscow with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Riabkov, to discuss energy cooperation between the parties.
According to the statement released by the Russian Government, “during the meeting, which took place in the atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding inherent in the Russian-Cuban dialogue, the strengthening of bilateral cooperation was addressed, particularly in the field of energy, in a spirit of strategic cooperation.”
Both officials also discussed bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector, including issues related to crude oil extraction
Russian aid in the field of energy is essential in the midst of the current crisis, which does not subside, taking into account, in addition, the frequent breakdowns suffered by Cuban power plants. This same Thursday, according to the Electric Union of Cuba, unit 2 of the Felton (in Holguín), unit 6 of Energas Boca de Jaruco (in Mayabeque), unit 1 of Santa Cruz (in Matanzas) and unit 6 of the Renté (in Santiago de Cuba) are out of service.
Nor do the refineries have an encouraging outlook. This Tuesday, the Ñico López stopped working again, in the Havana municipality of Regla, put into operation on August 25 after being stopped for a year and responsible for the smell of gas spread throughout the capital last week.
According to 14ymedio, Professor Jorge Piñón, a specialist in the oil sector at the University of Texas (USA), Ñico López’s problem “is not a lack of crude oil to process” but rather “it seems to be technical.”
The plant is “the most sophisticated of the three Cuban refineries,” says the expert, for being “the only one with a catalytic cracking unit, a leading unit in gasoline production. Like the thermoelectric ones,” it shows signs of aging “after its 67 years of operation with a low level of capital maintenance.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
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