LatinNews Daily - 24 February 2023

In brief: Blackouts continue in Cuba

* Cuba’s state electricity company Unión Eléctrica (UNE) has said that it estimated yesterday that 2,456 megawatts (MW) of energy was available nationally against a peak demand of 2,850MW, leaving a deficit of 394MW at peak times. UNE’s announcement follows the fourth major blackout in less than two weeks. On 21 February UNE said that over half of Cuba’s 15 provinces were facing energy blackouts, from the central Cienfuegos province to the easternmost province Guantánamo, due to faults in two major transmission lines which UNE technical director Lázaro Guerra said were caused by forest fires. The country’s electricity system was badly hit by Hurricane Ian which struck the island in late September, knocking out its entire electricity system, devastation which compounded repeated energy blackouts caused by crumbling infrastructure. On 16 February Energy & Mines Minister Vicente de la O Levy said that rolling blackouts would resume and continue until May while maintenance work is carried out on thermoelectric plants.

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