The G-77 Summit in Cuba Has Ended, and the Blackouts Return With a New Breakdown in La Guiteras

The plant, which received a capital repair three months ago, fails to offer stable service. (Cubadebate)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, September 18, 2023 – A few hours had passed since the closing of the G-77 plus China Summit, held in Havana, when the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant, located in Matanzas, left the National Electricity System (SEN), which this Sunday had a deficit of 274 megawatts (MW); today, Monday,  it foresees the lack of 525 MW. “The Intelligent thermocouple only worked during the summit. When it was ended, we had an unforeseen event,” one of the dozens of customers who protested against this Monday’s report from the Electric Union commented with irony.

The breakdown of the Guiteras, around nine o’clock this Sunday night, was initially announced by several official journalists on their social networks. “The Antonio Guiteras CTE left the National Electric System unexpectedly. Electricity service begins to be affected due to a generation capacity deficit,” Lázaro Manuel Alonso wrote on his Facebook profile.

“The summit ended and the blackouts began, a perfect combination. What a coincidence,” commented a user with sarcasm on the page of the Electric Union, which did not offer the cause of the breakage in the Matanzas plant. “Díaz-Canel took the light to New York,” added another, alluding to the Cuban president’s trip to the United States just a few hours ago.

Another reader ironically asked for applause for the power plant that “heroically resisted during the summit”

Another reader ironically asked for applause for the power plant that “heroically resisted during the summit. You couldn’t ask it for more,” he remarked.

Weeks before the leaders arrived in Havana, Cubans already mocked the “make-up” with which the Government concealed the city’s building collapses. The collection of garbage and repair of the main arteries, which were not even done after the passage of Hurricane Idalia, brought indignation more than relief.

A habanero interviewed by 14ymedio explains that nothing amazes him anymore. “Now we have to go out to see the ’new normal’ after the summit. We will return for sure to having blackouts and seeing piles of garbage everywhere.”

This Monday, the Electric Union also announced the departure of the SEN from unit 2 of the Felton (Holguín) and the 6 of the Boca de Jaruco (Mayabeque). “With this forecast,” they warned, four engines of the Patana de Melones (Havana) with 70 MW will be put into operation, which are not enough to supply even half of the forecast deficit on the Island.

On September 11, the company warned that the Guiteras thermoelectric plant, which had received a capital repair three months earlier, had stopped generating energy due to a “boiler failure.” Put into operation just a day before, the plant only managed to work a few hours. That day, at least 14% of the population suffered power outages.

The mishaps in the Guiteras, especially in the last month, have provoked an angry reaction from Internet users who have filled the Electric Union’s Facebook page with mockery and insults. Many of them demand “more respect” from the authorities or, at least, the work of “qualified people” in the repair of the plants.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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