HAVANA, Apr 3 Cuba’s state-owned electricity company announced this Saturday that there will be blackouts in the next few hours due to breakdowns in two thermoelectric power plant units in the center and east of the country.The Electric Union (UNE) explained in a statement released by official media that the effects are due to the fact that “in the last few hours unit number 1 of Felton (east) and a unit of Nuevitas ( center)”.
This “unforeseen situation” has led the company to schedule blackouts in the “respective territories, in order to reduce inconvenience to the population.”
The UNE “works intensively to put both units into operation in the shortest time possible,” underlines the company’s note.
These failures in two thermoelectric plants come less than two weeks after a failure led to the unscheduled shutdown of the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant (west), the largest in the country.
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.
According to the explanation of the authorities, this was the main reason that caused queues of up to eight hours in some service centers (gas stations) in Havana and other municipalities at the beginning of last week.
The UNE explained in its statement that four thermoelectric power plants in the country are currently stopped, subject to maintenance work “to guarantee the stability of this service” for July and August when electricity demand rises due to heat.
By those dates, it is also intended to have restored activity in two units of the Mariel thermoelectric plant, on the outskirts of Havana.
Already last summer there were blackouts in Cuba due to the inability of the system to meet the electricity demand at certain times, which generated discomfort among the population.
In fact, experts pointed out that the blackouts were one of the causes behind the anti-government protests on July 11, along with the serious economic crisis and the overflow of the health system due to the pandemic.