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Uruguayans collaborate with a Cuban province
Since February 27 and up to this week, 19 members of the National Administration of Power Plants and Electric Transmissions (UTE) from Uruguay are working in Vueltabajo. They take part in the repair of the 220 kv line, brought down in several municipalities by hurricane Gustav.

The linemen were finishing the assembly of one of the 42 meter high towers. This one was located amidst two pools of Paso Real de San Diego hatchery station in Los Palacios municipality, for which the mounting was made vertically and without the help of cranes: this was the first time in the country a tower is erected in vertical direction, so now it is a new experience for Cuban specialists.

However, that technique is not trascendental to Uruguayan linemen, since it is regularly done in their country due to the frequent tornadoes, explained engineer Mariano Brufao Fábregas, chief of power lines maintenance in the UTE and head of the brigade.

Anyway he said they have also learned here, since the first 24 towers built by them were horizontally assembled so that the Cuban entity in charge of lifting could finish the task. Although they had no practice working like that, they managed to build a tower per day.

In addition, the fact of having worked in the most hit municipalities by hurricanes Gustav and Ike (Consolacion del Sur and Los Palacios), has allowed them to know first hand the Cuban reality and feel the double heat: the hot weather, very intense by the way, and the human warmth, since they found humble, hospitable and thankful people in this part of the island.

In regard to the 220 kv towers that supply the province, 142 were destroyed, said engineer Ramón Miguel Pedrera Valdés, head of the Power Company in Vueltabajo.

For that reason the power generator units installed in the territory have to work more to feed the homes and centers, since the electricity supplied by the two lines of 110 kv is not enough.

Currently, four groups (linemen from Ciudad de La Habana, Villa Clara, Ciego de Ávila and Holguín) work from Candelaria to the westernmost part and 50 towers have been finished already.

Specialists forecast that if current speed is kept, all the works would be completed by June 30, which will provide the province with power security and quality.  


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