30% of Cuba will have a blackout during peak demand hours this Thursday

30% of Cuba will have a blackout during peak demand hours this Thursday
30% of Cuba will have a blackout during peak demand hours this Thursday

Havana, May 23 (EFE).- Blackouts will affect 30% of Cuba this Thursday during peak demand hours due to lack of fuel, breakdowns and maintenance, estimated the state Electrical Union (UNE) in its daily report.

Thus, another day is added to the phase of major electrical outages that began at the beginning of May and that the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, has described as an “emergency” situation. Major blackouts also occurred between late January and mid-March.

In recent days, maximum deficits of up to 38% have been recorded and in some localities there have been blackouts of up to 15 hours a day, something that affects industries, but also – and intensely – families.

For about two weeks the service has been affected, in one place or another in the country, 24 hours a day. In Havana, where minor outages are usually scheduled, four-hour block blackouts have been established for this entire week that will affect the entire capital’s population.

The UNE, attached to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, calculates for this Thursday a maximum electricity generation capacity of 2,240 megawatts (MW) for a demand that will reach 3,100 MW.

Thus, the deficit – the difference between supply and demand – will be 860 MW and the impact – the circuits that will actually be disconnected – will reach 930 MW in the “peak time”, in the evening, when the lights are on in homes. lights, electric stoves and air conditioners.

The national electrical system (SEN) of Cuba is in a very precarious situation due to the lack of imported fuel and breakdowns in thermoelectric plants, obsolete due to their more than four decades of use and the lack of investments and maintenance.

Of the fifteen production units in the seven operational thermoelectric plants in the country, three are broken and four are stopped for maintenance. In addition, 50 generation engines are out of service due to lack of fuel.

The Cuban Government has rented several floating power plants (of which currently only five remain) to alleviate the lack of generation capacity, a quick but temporary, polluting and expensive solution.

The blackouts hamper the economic performance of the country, which has been plunged into a serious crisis for four years.

They have also been the trigger for the anti-government protests in recent years, including those on July 11, 2021 – the largest in decades – and those on March 17 in Santiago de Cuba (east) and other locations. EFE

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