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Posted October 05, 2004 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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A package of measures is to be applied in Cuba with the aim of reducing the power cuts being provoked by difficulties within the national electric energy system.

During the third radio and television Roundtable program yesterday on the subject, with the participation of President Fidel Castro, various regulations were detailed with the aim of reducing the effects on the population as far as possible.

In early May a serious fault developed in the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant in Matanzas province, east of Havana, which led to that unit – which generates 15% of the country’s electricity needs – being taken out of the national system.

Vice President Carlos Lage commented that Cuba managed to overcome similar difficulties in this sector during the 1990-1995 period.

He explained that with the objective of causing minimizing the effects on the people productive activities are to be concentrated outside peak hours of demand.

Production that can be can be recovered at another time is to be halted, and other sectors to be replaced by imports, despite the implication of higher costs for the country.

The commercial sector will operate no later than 7:00 p.m. apart from the gastronomy branch and internal lighting in workplaces will be reduced. Lage also assured that circuits than can be disconnected will be increased in order to meet a program of power cuts.

This October there will be no return to normal hours (after daylight saving time) in order to avoid the a raised demand in peak hours, and in parallel with that school and work hours will be cut by half an hour for four months starting October 25.

He noted that, despite the U.S. blockade of more than 40 years’ duration, electricity has been brought to 923,800 homes.

Moreover the quantity of electrical appliances among the population has likewise increased, as 6,153,000 have been acquired in the same period.

Lage emphasized that the island is continuing to support the development of the tourism and nickel sectors, among others.

He pointed out that 95% of Cuba’s territory has access to electrical energy, as opposed to the Latin American region, with 86% and Africa with 34%.

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