Guiteras Power Plant to Reconnect to National Grid "As Soon As Possible"

Sunday, June 2, 2024 by Michael Hernandez

Guiteras Power Plant to Reconnect to National Grid "As Soon As Possible"
Executives of the UNE at the Guiteras - Image © Facebook / José Miguel Solís

The disconnection of the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant from the National Electric System (SEN) in Matanzas will be resolved "as soon as possible," according to plant executives who estimated an approximate timeframe of 30 hours to fix the detected issue.

Engineer Román Pérez Castañeda, the technical deputy director of the CTE, made this statement to state journalist José Miguel Solís, affirming that the repair work was proceeding without major setbacks. This past Saturday, the Guiteras plant was disconnected from the SEN due to an oil leak detected in the generator's lubrication system. Matanzas unit technicians assured Solís that Guiteras would begin supplying electricity to the SEN by Sunday evening.

"The 30-hour shutdown is being utilized for extensive repairs on pumps and auxiliary equipment and, most importantly, for cleaning the regenerative air heaters (CARS), which are key to increasing the unit's power output," explained the state journalist on social media. Engineer Pérez Castañeda added, "The progress of the repair work indicates the possibility of restarting the plant as soon as possible." On Saturday, engineer Rubén Campos Olmos had also noted that the repair should take about 30 hours.

Planned Maintenance and Future Challenges

Pérez Castañeda also mentioned a planned shutdown in the near future that will last around four days, allowing the plant to generate 280 MW during June and July. Last week, President Miguel Díaz-Canel acknowledged that there were no guarantees the summer months would pass without disruptions to the electrical service. "There could be a blackout at a certain time, but we will work to ensure they are not prolonged," he stated.

Díaz-Canel reiterated what the National Electric Union (UNE) had announced days earlier: that power cuts would increase in June due to heightened maintenance work on thermoelectric plants, aimed at ensuring service in July and August. "We will have prolonged maintenance until June to minimize the inconvenience of blackouts in the summer, especially in July and August," he said.

UNE Director Alfredo López Valdés indicated that no maintenance work is planned for any thermoelectric plant in July, although this does not guarantee smooth operations. "We will have the usual system breakdowns and limitations," he mentioned.

In mid-April, the Guiteras plant synchronized with the SEN after nearly five days out of service due to a boiler malfunction. The UNE had initially announced a three-day maintenance period, which extended to five days due to additional work needed on the boiler. The plant has been frequently in and out of the system due to ongoing breakdowns and defects, exacerbating the energy crisis that has subjected the population to blackouts lasting up to 18 hours in some areas.

FAQs on the Guiteras Thermoelectric Plant and Power Outages in Cuba

Here we address some common questions about the Guiteras thermoelectric plant and the ongoing power outages affecting Cuba.

Why was the Guiteras plant disconnected from the SEN?

The Guiteras plant was disconnected due to an oil leak in the generator's lubrication system.

How long will the repair take?

The repair is expected to take approximately 30 hours.

What are the future maintenance plans for the Guiteras plant?

A planned shutdown of about four days is expected soon, allowing the plant to generate 280 MW during June and July.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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