Two More Thermoelectric Plants are Shut Down in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba

Carlos Manuel de Céspedes thermoelectric plant in Cienfuegos. (September 5)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 1 November 2022 — Cuba lost two other thermoelectric power plants due to breakdowns this Monday, when Unit 4 of the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes in Cienfuegos and Unit 5 of the Antonio Maceo in Santiago de Cuba left the National Electric System (SEN).

“With these unforeseen departures, an availability of 1741 MW and a maximum demand of 3100 MW is estimated for the peak hour, for a deficit of 1359 MW, so if the expected conditions are maintained, an impairment of 1429 MW is predicted at this time,” warned the Unión Eléctrica de Cuba (UNE) in a note disseminated on its social networks, which was closed to public comments.

In recent months, the UNE has resorted to this censorship, aware of the fatigue of the population, which finds Facebook one of the best places to vent. Other organizations, however, have not established these limits, and that discomfort has been shown.

“We’ve been hearing the same song for more than six months, and now, when everyone is asleep, they shut off the power. They don’t care about anything. Until what time will this torture be and for how long?” criticized one user. Another added: “Six months of this year, and you have to count the previous year. The situation only improves when it’s cold. Cuban thermoelectric plants don’t like the heat.”

The Cienfuegos electricity company even held an exchange with a user who was protesting the difference in the cuts between the different provinces. “You, what you do is eat the people’s food, you can’t even pretend that you give a damn and defend that the effect is equitable and that with 90 MW of power the entire province will be turned off when the rest of the country has only a portion of its population. Those who don’t know history can make the mistake of repeating it. And as Fidel Castro said, ’when an energetic and virile people cries, injustice trembles’,” he cried out, adding in his argument that Cienfuegos is one of those places with the least amount of electricity consumption in the country as a whole, and, nevertheless, the light is cut off as much or more than in Villa Clara.

“The National Electroenergy System is interconnected on a narrow and long island in which the energy blocks must be distributed from one end to the other depending on the demand of each province and the transport capacity of the power lines. In addition, it needs to work with a certain reserve that allows it to assume the variations of demand in moments. So the distribution of the MW to the provinces is not static nor can it be calculated with a simple division,” the company explained.

The comments have multiplied, as usual, in the official accounts that reproduced the UNE note. Some of the users also recalled that there is only one month left until December, when the authorities stated that the problems would be resolved, and yet nothing seems to improve — just the opposite.

Last week, the UNE announced Felton’s departure from the SEN. The thermoelectric plant must do a one-week maintenance to improve the capacity of its block 1, while block 2 has been out  of service for some time.

The Antonio Guiteras de Matanzas is also out of service, although the UNE doesn’t even mention it now. It’s the largest thermoelectric plant in the country, and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel trusted that it would recover last August. But today the power cuts continue, along with breakdowns and lack of fuel for the generators, a situation which is getting worse.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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