Cuba Business

Cuba to build 14,000 petrohouses a year at Cienfuegos refinery

Posted May 21, 2008 by publisher in Cuba Business.


Cuba plans to build 14,000 plastic homes a year to help ease a national housing shortage, a government news agency reported on Tuesday.

Set to begin in September, the program will use polyvinyl chloride from a petrochemical facility to be built with Venezuelan aid at a refinery in Cienfuegos, Prensa Latina said.

“Cuba will produce more than 14,000 houses annually with polyvinyl chloride, thanks to a bi-national project with Venezuela,” project director Julian Alonso told the news agency.

Cuba is said to need about half a million homes to provide sufficient housing for its people.

Alonso said the machinery to produce the so-called “petrohouses” will arrive in Cuba next month and should be operating by September, with a daily production of 40 homes measuring 753 square feet each.

Venezuela, led by Cuban ally President Hugo Chavez, provides about 92,000 barrels of oil per day to Cuba on favorable terms and has financed the modernization of the Soviet-era Cienfuegos refinery. Cienfuegos is 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Havana.

In December Chavez donated 100 of the plastic houses to Cuba and has promised to invest $1.3 billion for a petrochemical complex.

(Reported by Rosa Tania Valdes; Editing by Jeff Franks and Xavier Briand)

Here’s more information from the Venezuelan government about PetroCasa and an article from about petrohouses in Cuba

Member Comments

On May 21, 2008, chuckdaplumber wrote:

Is it possible to see the floor plans of this new house?
I have been thinking of this idea for Mexico for years.

On May 21, 2008, Bob Wiese wrote:

Sounds interesting…..BUT…..what kind of winds can this structure endure?  Cuba has a problem with tropical systems visiting on a regular basis…......

On May 22, 2008, publisher wrote:

This compnay, Pequiven owned by the Venezuelan government is the manufacturer of these petrocasas, petrohouse and/or plastic houses.

On November 28, 2009, pipefitter wrote:

The house walls are filled with concrete.

On December 01, 2009, Yeyo wrote:

I guess aesthetics are not important anymore. Secondly the Castro government over the years immerse on its impossibility to provide housing for the people, have tried hundreds of different propaganda plans, all of which failed miserably: remember the “micros” and the “contingents”. This would end like more of the same, few hundred horrible houses build and two years down the road nobody remember anything about them.

On February 16, 2010, moladi wrote:

I am amased that you produce “low cost homes” by using the formwork produced in Venezuela only ONCE!

moladi produces formwork that can be used 50 times! Therefore the cost of construction is far less than Petrocasa. Have a look at how it should be done at

On February 16, 2010, pipefitter wrote:

The “formwork” as you call it are produced in Cienfuegos Cuba in a factory using the plastic by products from their oil refinery. The pvc modules are interlocking and also form the inside and outside finish of the structure. they are then filled with concrete. The modules can be put up in many different configerations to produce many different buildings from houses to stores and medical clinics. They can be put up by unskilled labour. Your product would cost them euros or dollars, their product is produced in Cuba by Cubans.

On February 20, 2010, Yeyo wrote:

I do not want to be negative, but this houses are not only ugly but also very soon will be forgotten like many other constructions programs created by Castro. Remember the micro-brigades, the contingents with their people working “voluntarily” for over 16 hours, the low cost houses made of mud and a bunch of other stuff, every single worker including those not in the construction field that has to work “voluntarily” 120 hours a year, etc, etc, etc.

The fact and the matter is that every single construction made after the “rovolution” is uglier and have less quality than the constructions made before 1959, amazing uh?