Karadeniz Holding takes one of its electrical generation plants from Cuba 

Karadeniz Holding takes one of its electrical generation plants from Cuba 

HAVANA, Apr 18. The Turkish company Karadeniz Holding, which rents six power generation plants to Cuba to alleviate the energy deficit suffered by the Island,decided to remove one of the vessels located in Havana Bay to transfer it to Guyana, which is experiencing a blackout crisis.

According to the Government of the South American country, the boat left Cuba this Wednesday and will arrive in that territory in two weeks, where it must contribute 36MW of electricity to the national grid.

According to officials from the Guyanese Ministry of Public Works, cited by the local media St Kitts and Nevis Observer, the vessel until now in operation in Havana “will be integrated into the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) for 24 months.”

Announcing the vessel’s arrival, Minister Deodat Indar said: “The blackout is temporary. It will be fixed. And there is a plan to deal with it, in the immediate term to address the shortage of generation capacity, so that we can build a bridge until gas power production reaches 300MW.”

Since last March 30, the OK vessel, a heavy loader or heavy load carrier flying the Liberian flag, used to transport large vessels such as patanas, appeared located in Havana, according to the vessel monitoring site Vessel Finder.

Jorge Piñón, director of the Energy Program for Latin America and the Caribbean at the University of Texas, explained that this naval vessel was anchored in the Atares inlet, “next to the Turkish floating generation plants.”

“Heavy load carriers are ‘semi-submersible’ cargo vessels that, using ballast water to increase their draft, allow their deck to be submerged below the surface of the water. In this way, they allow their cargo to be placed on their cover and thus transport heavy or large equipment,” he said.

The departure from Havana lake leaves only five of the eight Karadeniz vessels that were operating on the Island in Cuba, after the arrival of the first in 2019.

Two lakes are located on the Island in the port of Mariel (the Baris Bay, which produces 40MW, and the Ela Sultan, which contributes 65MW). These supply companies in the Mariel Special Development Zone.

Three others operated in Havana: the Belgin Sultán (15MW) and the Suheyla Sultán (240MW) are connected to the Melones/Tallapiedra substation, in Havana Bay, while a third, anchored in the Guanabacoa cove, lack of confirmation, it could be the one that was transferred to Guyana.

Finally, in the bay of Santiago de Cuba is the Erin Sultan, with 130MW of generation capacity.

In July 2023, Vicente de la O Levy, Cuba’s Minister of Energy and Mines, reported that two of the eight Karadeniz Holding vessels then contracted had left the country, in accordance with what was agreed upon when they were rented.

Officials from the state Electrical Union assured in February 2023 that Turkish floating plants should deliver between 18 and 20% of the electricity generation in Cuba that year.

However, in the past three years, the electricity crisis has only worsened, while the fuel shortage that the Island is experiencing means that they often remain inoperative.

Although Cuba was Karadeniz Holding’s first project in America, and the failures arrived before the electricity generation crisis hit rock bottom between 2021 and 2022, its impact has not been decisive.

They have not resolved the problem either, apart from the fact that it is still unknown how much it costs the Cuban economy to pay its rent and the environmental impact of its continued use.