Three Months After Completing a Capital Repair, Cuba’s Guiteras Thermoelectric Plant Goes out of Service

The Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant was out of service for 72-hours. (TV Yumurí/Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 24 August 2023 — The directors of the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant reported on Thursday the departure from the National Electric System (SEN) for approximately 72 hours, almost three months after it received capital maintenance. The authorities, who have tried to downplay the fact by alleging “repairs and maintenance,” reported that the plant, located in Matanzas, suffered an “overconsumption of water” that caused its breakdown.

According to data provided by the Cuban News Agency, the thermoelectric plant consumed between 40 and 50 cubic meters of water per hour, an excess that caused breaks in service and affected electricity generation.

The general director of the unit, Rubén Campos, told the agency that the plant will have work done on more than 20 valves, the boilers, hydraulic tests and “other corrective work” that could extend the time in which the plant will be outside the SEN.

The official also pointed out that the departure of the Guiteras  took place at a bad time, since “there are no other units in the country due to breakdowns.” However, Campos forgot to explain what will happen to the Cubans whose electricity depends on the generation of the plant during the next three days.

With repairs, the thermoelectric plant, a better operation is foreseen in the coming months, as well as stability in the service, according to the official press. Campos pointed out that in July, only three days were affected by problems in the generation, while in August the figure amounted to 9 days.

However, the problems in Antonio Guiteras do not stop. Last April, after a collapse inside the chimney, two workers died and two others were injured. The employees were trapped when a seven-meter-high wall or “partition” collapsed on them while they were cleaning out the soot.

For decades, the facilities of this thermoelectric plant have lacked the necessary maintenance required by the thermoelectric plants that process the oil of national extraction, which has a high sulfur content and is very corrosive to metal. And, in the midst of the energy crisis, the plant constantly leaves the SEN due to multiple breakdowns.

Meanwhile, the Electric Union reported this Thursday a deficit of 10 megawatts (MW), an insignificant number compared to the 500 MW that the company was unable to cover just a few weeks ago.

Cubans throughout the Island continue to report blackouts, appliances damaged by power outages and spoiled food – a totally different panorama from the one described in the official press.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.