The Electric Union of Cuba: ‘We Did Not Manage to Cover the Demand’

For many Cubans, power outages also mean greater difficulties in cooking. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 21 May 2022 — Summer is approaching and Cubans are losing patience with the Electric Union (UNE). After months of constant breakdowns and long blackouts, the state monopoly is unable to “cover demand” and has announced this Friday that “electricity service will continue to be affected in the coming days.”

In a brief note, the UNE explains that Unit 1 of the Lidio Ramón Pérez thermoelectric plant, in Felton, in the Holguin municipality of Mayarí, managed to turn on its boiler from 2:00 p.m. this Friday after a repair that lasted more than three days. .

But the good news has not lasted very long: “With its synchronization the situation of the National Electric System improves,” but it is not possible to supply all the country’s demand because “six thermal units continue to fail and the planned maintenance in Feltón 2, Mariel 8 and Talla piedra,” says the text.

The situation of the electrical system is classified as “complex” by the UNE, which once again points out that the main culprit is the financial limitations derived from the US embargo “which have prevented the required maintenance from being carried out in a timely manner.”

At this time, of the 20 electricity generation blocks in the country, 16 are “out of the capital maintenance cycle, also burning a very aggressive fuel.”

The use of this raw material “shortens the cycles of operation between maintenance and requires an intensification of the cleaning, washing and replacement of ducts that are subject to high corrosion,” the note details.

All these factors make “the system very sensitive, many breakdowns occur and creating many limitations. The blocks when they are in service do not reach their maximum power and require interventions because they lose their charge very quickly,” justifies the UNE.

The text concludes by assuring that work is being done “continuously to solve breakdowns in the shortest possible time” and that the population will be informed about “the levels of damage in each of the provinces.”

However, the explanations of the Electric Union have failed to appease the spirits of the monopoly’s customers. Last week has been especially hard on the island with blackouts of more than six hours in numerous locations in the west, center and east.

The high temperatures that are experienced in the country in May force families to keep the fans or air conditioning equipment on all night and the consumption of refrigerated food multiplies. In the midst of the economic crisis that the country is experiencing, the greatest fears are focused on July and August, months in which power cuts traditionally grow.

The blackouts, coupled with food shortages and poor sanitary conditions, fueled the demands of many Cubans who, also tired of the lack of freedoms, took to the streets on July 11, 2021 in the largest anti-government protests on the island in decades.


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