HAVANA, April 6th Cuba will add another Turkish floating power plant to its national generation system in the coming weeks to alleviate the deficit caused in recent months by frequent breakdowns in its thermoelectric plants, the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM) reported this Sunday.
“The shipment to #Cuba of a floating power plant that will contribute 15 MW to the Electric System is being finalized with the Turkish company Karen,” the head of the MINEM, Liván Arronte, who finalized the agreement during a recent visit to Istanbul, wrote on his Twitter account.
This unit joins four other Turkish floating plants that have been in operation for several months in the bay of Havana and in the vicinity of the Máximo Gómez Báez thermoelectric plant, in the western province of Artemisa, and that form part of the first project of the Karen company in Latin America.
This reinforcement allows for the maintenance of other thermoelectric plants, contributes to increasing the national reserve and replaces the use of diesel, one of the most expensive fuels for generation, the state website Cubadebate reported.
Some Cuban power plants have Soviet-era equipment and use domestically produced heavy crude oil, while others use diesel.
Cuba has 5.87 GW of installed generation capacity, of which 3.2 GW are operational, according to data from the state Electricity Conglomerate (UNE).
The arrival of the new Turkish generating unit coincides with the announcement by the UNE of blackouts in the coming hours due to the shutdown of operations due to breakdowns of two generating units located in the central (Felton) and eastern (Nuevitas) regions.
The UNE said that it is an “unforeseen situation” that has forced it to schedule blackouts in those territories and indicated that it is working “intensively” to reintegrate both units into its operations.
These new breakdowns are added to the one reported two weeks ago and which stopped the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant (west), the largest in the country, in an unscheduled manner.
The six-day forced stoppage of this plant led the UNE to program blackouts of up to three hours in a row in some neighboring territories, which increased the use of generator sets in the west of the country and caused a peak in the demand for diesel.
The authorities explained that this was the main reason that caused lines of up to eight hours in some service centers (gas stations) in Havana and other municipalities at the beginning of last week.