While production is needed, some Cuban industries are cutting hours

Due to energy shortages in Cuba, Sancti Spiritus shuts down part of its industry during peak hours

“The unforeseen shutdown of some power plants and the fuel shortage in recent days have caused the current power situation,” said the Electric Company in Sancti Spíritus. (UNE)

By Mercedes Garcia (14ymedio)

HAVANA TIMES – The promises made by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel in the Council of Ministers last week have not been fulfilled, and energy continues to be a serious problem, to the point that in Sancti Spíritus there has been a total or partial paralysis of industries and Services not considered essential during “peak hours”. The sections cover six hours a day, as it has to close between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Camilo Pérez Pérez, a provincial government official, pointed out that in the work centers, “working hours need to be adjusted to move them away from the hours of greatest consumption and to use remote work and teleworking as an alternative”.

In addition, he called for continuous manufacturing facilities to apply the containment plans designed for those purposes, such as shutting down air conditioners and furnaces, as well as refrigerators, chillers and chambers, “so long as they don’t affect the condition of the products,” an observation that might be dubious , unless there are empty units.

The official also referred to the irrigation machines that should not be used during peak hours and that the population’s water supply needs to be reorganized to avoid the night hours, which are most in demand.

All of the above measures are aimed at industry and shopping centers, where, in addition to monitoring the consumption meter, in order not to go beyond what was planned, lighting should be reduced as much as possible. Residents of Sancti Spiritus are also having to grope their way through the streets, as demands have been made to turn off public lighting and leave only those essential to vehicle and pedestrian safety.

“The policy of the state is to reduce as much as possible the impact on the supplies to the population,” said Pérez, who however urged the general population to contribute to this complicated moment by also saving energy in the households.

“It’s about switching off or turning off unused equipment and having the support of the people’s councils to implement these and other measures aimed at rational and efficient use of energy,” he stressed. In addition, he called for a communication policy by the state media that promotes the optimal use of resources.

“Although they are announcing it now, we have been suffering from measures of this kind for a few days,” a woman from Sancti Spiritus tells 14ymedio, reporting that while they do not take action in some state offices, they pay attention to energy saving – for example, close the doors when the air conditioning is running – these places are also not designed for natural ventilation (many do not have opening windows). “Self-blackouts” are not uncommon, says the woman, who knows her way around the civil service: “One day a week, they switch off all electrical devices themselves.”

State officials were also informed at least four days ago about the cessation of the labor transport.

The state telecoms monopoly Etecsa announced last Saturday that from this date its commercial network is changing its opening hours to the public from Monday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., specifying that during the hours without electricity this could affect the procedures for Carry out bill collection, ticket sales, attention to procedures, doubts and complaints.

“We know power outages are annoying, but the intention is that if this service is affected, we at least have the opportunity to prepare for it. The unexpected outage of some generating facilities and fuel shortages in recent days have caused the current situation regarding electricity, and although work is being carried out non-stop to fix faults, there is no generating reserve that could end these annoying power outages immediately, so we have to keep us updated on the blockages existing in the province through the various planning channels,” said Yoanny Acosta Solenzar, director of the Electric Company in Sancti Spíritus, on social networks.

A few days ago, the official defended himself against criticism from the population who complained about the non-compliance with the schedules, arguing that the generation shortage has exceeded 20 MW in the last few days and in that case they “have to switch off circuits belonging to the other block , i.e. mix some of those planned a little later for the one who is in the blackout”.

Last week, the Mesa Redonda (Roundtable) program detailed the serious energy situation affecting the country for the umpteenth time. Officials commented on TV that of the 20 blocks of thermoelectric power plants in the country, eight are off-system and the remaining 12 generate 1,023 MW, nearly 39% of the total output of these plants (2,608 MW).

“Every two days we have almost three blocks out of service,” said Edier Guzmán Pacheco, director of Generation at the National Electric Union. Moreover, and despite the fact that supplies of Venezuelan oil and its derivatives, which are free to the government, have increased, the shortage is evident. The problem has already continued into June and shows no signs of improvement in the face of rising temperatures from another summer that is approaching too hot.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times

Comments are closed.