Petrochemical ship Caesar arrives in Havana that made a strange journey

Petrochemical ship Caesar arrives in Havana that made a strange journey

HAVANA, May 26, The petrochemical ship Caesar, flying the Liberian flag, arrives this Friday in Havana with an approximate cargo of 266,000 barrels of fuel, maritime traffic monitoring platforms indicated.According to the Vessel Finder site, the ship left Malta on May 6, although a deeper review of its journey raises suspicions about its true origin.

The Caesar was in Malta for just 14 hours from Perama, in Greece, and before the port of Piraeus, in the same country. In the first point, she spent almost six days, and in the second only one.

More, where did the ship come from when it arrived in Greece? Well, from Tuapse, an important Russian deepwater port on the Black Sea is connected to an oil pipeline and where an important refinery of the Russian state oil company Rosneft is located.

Jorge Piñón, director of the Energy Program for Latin America and the Caribbean at the University of Texas, explained that “it is not possible to document exactly, but we estimate that the tanker Caesar loaded at the Russian port.”

“Although she shows her origin in the anchorages of Piraeus, Greece and Malta. In our opinion, this is an effort to mask her port of origin,” he stated.

Russian ships have been sanctioned by the West due to the invasion of Ukraine. To continue selling its oil, despite this, Moscow operates a fleet of hundreds of “ghost ships”, which often make strange itineraries before arriving at their destination.

If the Russian origin of the shipment is true, it would be the first shipment to arrive on the Island from the Eurasian nation reported in more than a month.

In mid-April, the petrochemical vessel Transsib Bridge, with approximately 290,000 barrels of oil, arrived in Havana, the third in less than a month. She had loaded at the Russian port of Nakhodka, in the Sea of Japan.

“The Nakhodka terminal, in Primorsk, stores and distributes refined products from the Rosneft refinery in Komsomolsk”.

A week earlier, the tanker Nordic, flagged by Liberia, arrived in Matanzas with a cargo of approximately 60,000 tons of oil, after making a strange journey, as elusive as that of the Caesar, which began in the Russian port of Ust-Luga.  In the final days of March, another shipment of Russian fuel arrived with some 650,000 barrels, the first in an entire year.

These shipments, of which only the first two have been publicly announced, would represent a brief lifeline for the Island, which is experiencing a chronic crisis in its electrical energy system, accentuated by fuel shortages, after the end of shipments from Mexico and the decrease in the Venezuelan oil quota.

Since the beginning of May, in addition, Cubans have suffered a new wave of blackouts of up to more than 20 hours in some localities, which the authorities attribute to maintenance work on thermoelectric plants to guarantee a more stable service in July and August, the months of greater electricity demand on the Island.

The state-run Unión Eléctrica has reported a shortage of fuel for distributed generation that compensates for the deficit of thermoelectric plants but has attributed it to the difficulty in supplying the engine blocks and generating sets, dispersed throughout the geography of the Island.

The sanctions do not have the tools to seize a Russian ship. They play with the chain, not with the bear.