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Cuba Expands Electricity Generating Capacity
Cuba’s efforts to revamp its energy infrastructure has brought large scale change to the country under what is called the Energy Revolution that promotes energy consciousness and is centered on the installation of fuel oil generator sets. More than 700 of these efficient energy generator sets are up and running and by late 2010 the project is set to conclude with the installation of a combined total of 1,700 megawatts.
Vice President Carlos Lage and Basic Industry Minister Yadira García Vera were in Cienfuegos and spoke of the Energy Revolution during a visit to the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Thermoelectric plant. The plant has been undergoing a US $50 million reparation investment and will supply the country with 158 megawatts once completed.
Lage spoke at a reception at the plant, recalling the beginning of the Energy Revolution that was implemented by Fidel Castro. The first part of the program involved the installation of diesel powered generator sets that now provide the country with 1,200 megawatts, effectively eliminating power outages that had plagued the country after the collapse of the USSR and the ensuing Special Period.
Lage spoke about the benefits of the new system of independent power sources, especially during this year’s hurricane season that saw three major storms thrash the island. He said the fuel oil generators are cheaper to power than the diesel ones and as such will be used 24 hours a day, while the diesel ones will be used for emergencies and during peak hours. Lage also said that the diesel generators will undergo maintenance and repair after being severely taxed by the multiple emergencies caused by one of the worst hurricane seasons on record.
The vice president said that some of the more efficient thermoelectric plants, such as the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes will still play a role in the nation’s energy production while others are being retired.
Yadira García gave a positive assessment of the progress of the plant’s restoration project which kept its course despite the recent hurricanes and heavy rainfall. She said it was a reference point in how to best carry out this type of investment.
While in Cienfuegos, the two Cuban ministers also visited a stone milling plant built using Chinese technology as well as a multifamily apartment building that is nearing completion.

(Juventud Rebelde)

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