Blackouts overshadow children's day celebrations in Cuba

Blackouts overshadow children’s day celebrations in Cuba

“Until when?” Cubans question on social networks the announcement this Sunday by the Electric Union (UNE) that the blackouts and affectations to the service continue from 6:40 in the morning due to “generation capacity deficit”, low levels in the fuel reserve and the constant failures in the Lidio Ramón Pérez Thermoelectric Power Plant (CTE), of Felton, in Holguín.

Announcements of power outages and cuts add tension to a summer in which shortages, inflation and epidemiological problems are also combined, such as the increase in dengue cases. Social dissatisfaction is strongly felt not only in the streets but also in social networks.

“Please, I don’t want to hear more people say that the Felton is ‘efficient’, big, perhaps, but very far from being efficient,” Niurka Diaz Castillo, who appears on her profile as a worker at the Cubatur travel agency, in Varadero. “Don’t applaud more efforts without results, so we will never move forward again.”

Jorge Navarrete, originally from Holguín, also expressed his annoyance at the inefficiency of Felton, which was inaugurated on January 5, 2011 and had been described by the official press as “the one with the greatest installed capacity in the country.” “Nobody understands this, Felton’s unit 1 has more than 20 breaks. Something doesn’t add up there.”

The availability of the SEN at 07:00 hours is 2,205 megawatts (MW) and the demand is 2,131 MW. The maximum affectation in daytime hours will be 300 MW, the statement said. It was indicated that units 6, 7 and 8 of the CTE Mariel, units 1 and 2 of the CTE Felton, unit 4 of the CTE Nuevitas and unit 3 of the CTE Rente are “out of service due to breakdowns”.

The announcements of power failures and cuts add tension to a summer in which shortages, inflation and epidemiological problems, such as the increase in dengue cases, also combine

While unit 6 of the CTE Nuevitas is “under maintenance”. The limitations in thermal generation (431 MW) are maintained. In distributed generation, 1,056 MW are unavailable due to breakdown and 396 MW are undergoing maintenance. For peak hours, the use of 143 MW in diesel engines is forecast.

The blackouts reached this third Sunday of July to the celebrations for Children’s Day. “Please, today is children’s day. How the hell are they going to turn off the current? The children can’t see or dolls. It seems to me that the leaders are only here to fill their bellies,” said Jorge Luis Fernández.

Just on July 8 a massive fire in unit two of the Thermoelectric Power Plant aggravated the disaster in the energy crisis that the Island is experiencing. A few days ago the Havana Bus Station It was left in the dark and consequently the information screens were turned off, while the passengers tried to mitigate the intense heat that was felt in the place with fans.

Blackouts occur daily in Cuba, where the UNE has reported more than 300 damages in several of the 13 thermoelectric plants (8 on land and 5 floating) in recent months.

The Cuban authorities recognize the “tense” situation of the national electricity system and warn that there are “difficult days” ahead of the arrival of the hottest months of the year, those with the highest consumption.


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