After four months of waiting, oil tanker unloads its cargo in Cienfuego

After four months of waiting, oil tanker unloads its cargo in Cienfuego

HAVANA, June 2 The Eco Fleet, a tanker flying the flag of the Marshall Islands that the Cuban authorities announced last March 13 as a relief to the fuel shortage on the Island,and that it left without unloading after 50 days off Havana, docked in Cienfuegos.

This was reported by Jorge Piñón, director of the Energy Program for Latin America and the Caribbean at the University of Texas, who stated that on June 1, “after more than 70 days waiting to deliver its oil, (the ship ) unloaded in Cienfuegos”.

The ship tracking platform Vessel Finder confirmed the ship’s location, as this newsroom was able to verify.

According to Piñon, “based on her draft, she transports approximately 274,000 barrels of oil.”

Vicente de la O Levy, Cuban Minister of Energy and Mines, announced the arrival of the Eco Fleet in the Cuban port in March, without mentioning its name and assuring that its cargo of “1,100 tons per day will be dedicated to electricity generation and a part to economic activity”.

However, after her arrival on the coast of Havana on February 25, she remained there for no known reason. On April 14 she made a two-day trip to Jamaica and returned to Cuba unchanged from her original draft.

“Reason for the delay: lack of payment?; quality problems? She must have an incredible bill for her stay,” Piñon noted.

The Cuban authorities, who do not usually report the arrival of fuel shipments, which they often obtain through an opaque transfer of ships, cargo and purchases, have not referred to the situation of the Eco Fleet.

But, in mid-March, when the previous energy crisis on the Island reached its climax, giving rise to blackouts of up to more than 20 hours in some territories, and Cubans took to the streets to protest, De la O Levy promised the arrival of fuel shipments that would alleviate the situation.

The Eco Fleet departed from the La Skhira terminal, in Tunisia, on February 7. At that time, Piñón specified that, according to his calculations, the shipment had an approximate value of 26 million dollars, without considering the cost of freight or the stay in Cuban waters.