Despite the change of minister, more power plants are turned off in Cuba

Despite the change of minister, more power plants are turned off in Cuba

The same day that the official press devoted a triumphalist article Due to the “stability” of the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes thermoelectric plant (CTE) in Cienfuegos, unit 4 of this plant was disconnected from the National Electric System (SEN).

With the usual euphemisms, a concise note of the Cuban News Agency reported this Monday that, due to “faults in the boiler”, the unit is subject to a “natural cooling” process that will last three or four days, even if “forced draft fans” are used. .

Beyond the technical explanations, and as usual, the breakdown will result in more blackouts not only for Cienfuegos, but for other provinces that depended on the generating capacity of the plant. “We have had to contribute part of the energy that other thermoelectric plants have not been able to pay due to technical problems,” he complained to Granma the general director of Céspedes, Yeranis Zurita García.

In the same report, the official newspaper boasted that in the daily reports “almost never does any of the generation blocks appear” of the Cienfuegos thermoelectric plant, “recognized in the country for its levels of stability.”

The breakdown of the main transformer at the machine’s output had to be resolved “in a matter of 15 minutes,” he lamented, a less than ideal solution that the technicians arrived at “with everything we had on hand.”

Zurita indicated that, “despite the problems”, they exceeded their gross generation plan at the end of September, with 132.4%, with a surplus that had to be sent to other territories of the country.

Less optimistic, engineer Dariel Jiménez, from the Protection and Electrical Schemes Brigade of Céspedes, admitted that “practically every day there are breakdowns or other difficulties.”

The breakdown of the main transformer at the machine’s output had to be resolved “in a matter of 15 minutes,” he lamented, a less than ideal solution that the technicians arrived at “with everything we had on hand.”

Haste and short-term solutions are the daily bread of Cuban thermoelectric plants, as Jiménez assured, whose team is required to fix everything “in the shortest possible time” on a technology “with many years of exploitation.”

The head of Céspedes maintenance, Yunior Estrada Zambrano, explained that “we have characterized ourselves by always doing everything that we have to do, sometimes against the short time that the system gives us.” However, he acknowledges that the generation is “very depressed.”

The seriousness of the energy situation cost the Minister of Energy and Mines, Liván Arronte Cruz, and the director of the UNE, Jorge Amado Cepero Hernández, their jobs on Monday.

Determined to highlight “the sacrifice and effort” of Céspedes, Granma he did not flinch in acknowledging that his unit 4 had left the SEN. As he points out the daily part from Unión Eléctrica, is added to the list of blocks out of service together with units 6 and 7 of CTE Mariel (Mayabeque), 4 and 5 of Nuevitas (Camagüey), 2 of Felton (Holguín), 3, 4 and 5 of Renté (Santiago de Cuba) and the only one of Otto Parellada (Havana). About the Antonio Guiteras CTE, which this Friday he left the SENthe official reporter Lázaro Manuel Alonso ad on their networks that it had already “synchronized” again and that Cuban Television would offer more details about its operation.

The UNE note adds that the maximum impact during the night, this Monday, was 1,568 megawatts (MW) at 7:20 p.m., while a maximum demand of 3,200 is expected this Tuesday for a deficit of 1,125 MW.

The National Electric System has shown no signs of improvement in recent months, and has been particularly affected by the explosion of the Matanzas Supertanker Base and the passage of Hurricane Ian through the west of the country.

The seriousness of the energy situation cost the Minister of Energy and Mines, Liván Arronte Cruz, and the director of the UNE, Jorge Amado Cepero Hernández, their jobs this Monday. The new managers of the SEN, Minister Vicente de la O Levy and Director Alfredo López, will have to deal with a system whose collapse has provoked numerous protests against long blackouts.

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