Thermoelectric Plant Guiteras Reconnects to National Grid

Monday, June 3, 2024 by Albert Rivera

Thermoelectric Plant Guiteras Reconnects to National Grid
Antonio Guiteras Thermoelectric Plant in Matanzas - Image by © José Miguel Solís / Facebook

The Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant has reconnected to the national electrical grid (SEN) this Monday after fixing an oil leak that took it out of service last Friday. According to official journalist José Miguel Solís on Facebook, the plant in Matanzas synchronized at 1:36 am and is already gaining power.

The reconnection occurred a few minutes before the predicted time of 2:10 am, after the plant fired up its boiler at 5:10 am on Sunday. Experts had estimated a 30-hour window to resolve the issue, stating that the disconnection would be resolved "as soon as possible."

Engineer Román Pérez Castañeda, the plant's technical deputy director, noted that the repair work was carried out without significant setbacks. On Saturday, the Guiteras plant went offline due to an oil leak in the generator's lubrication system, further exacerbating the power shortage and resulting in more blackouts for the population.

Pérez Castañeda was optimistic, suggesting that the repair progress indicated the unit might rejoin the SEN before peak demand hours on Sunday, although this did not happen. Recently, President Miguel Díaz-Canel acknowledged that there are no guarantees the summer months will be free from power outages. "There may be a blackout at a certain time, but we will work to ensure they are not prolonged," he said.

Díaz-Canel reiterated the Electric Union's (UNE) announcement that power cuts will increase in June due to heightened maintenance work on thermoelectric plants to ensure 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 stated.

According to UNE Director Alfredo López Valdés, no maintenance work is planned for July, but this does not guarantee smooth operations. "We will have the usual system failures and limitations," he said.

The Guiteras plant has been intermittently operational due to continuous breakdowns amidst an energy crisis that has subjected the population to blackouts lasting up to 18 hours in some areas. In mid-April, the plant reconnected to the SEN after nearly five days offline due to a boiler issue. The UNE had initially announced a three-day maintenance period for the plant, which extended to five days due to "defects in the boiler."

Frequently Asked Questions about Thermoelectric Plant Guiteras and Cuba's Energy Crisis

Here are some common questions and answers regarding the recent events at the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant and the broader energy crisis in Cuba.

Why did the Antonio Guiteras plant go offline?

The plant went offline due to an oil leak in the generator's lubrication system, which exacerbated the existing power shortage.

What measures are being taken to prevent future blackouts?

The Cuban government and the Electric Union (UNE) are conducting extensive maintenance on thermoelectric plants until June to minimize summer blackouts, especially in July and August.

How long do blackouts typically last in Cuba?

Blackouts in Cuba can last up to 18 hours in some areas due to continuous breakdowns and an ongoing energy crisis.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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