An electrical discharge this Friday caused a large fire in a crude oil deposit in an industrial area near the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant (west of Cuba).
According to official media, the fire department and oil company workers Union Cubapetroleum (cupet) has managed to control the fire and prevent the flames from spreading to other tanks that store crude oil at the supertanker base.
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A Cuban television reporter explained that the explosion of the tank launched its cover several meters awayand stated that the tank was at 50% of its capacity (50 cubic meters) when the incident occurred.
The first secretary of the Communist Party in Matanzas, Susely Morfa, wrote on Twitter that members of the “fire department, Ministry of the Interior, the Revolutionary Armed Forces” were working at the site.
“Confidence that the situation will be controlled”, Morph added.
A column of black smoke rose to a great height, as can be seen in the first images issued by the official mediawhich so far have not reported injuries or victims due to the fire.
This accident takes place when the island is facing a growing energy crisis that has generated long blackouts in recent days, outages that have affected different locations in the country for months, sometimes with up to 10 consecutive hours without electricity.
This Friday, the Cuban state-owned company Unión Eléctrica (UNE) predicted service cuts for much of the day due to an energy deficit of 28% of the generation capacity during the hours of greatest demand, one of the highest rates in recent months. .
Power outages – due to failures and breakages in old-fashioned thermoelectric plants, lack of fuel and scheduled maintenance – are becoming more frequent in the country.
The situation, which weighs down all areas of the economy and significantly affects daily life, is beginning to stir up social discontent in Cuba.
Last year they were one of the reasons behind the anti-government protests on July 11, 2021, the largest in decades, according to analysts.
In recent days there have been several minor protests, mainly in small towns with prolonged blackouts, although they have also been registered in Santiago de Cuba and Havana.
Cuba It relies heavily on foreign oil to produce power (thermoelectric plants generate two-thirds of the electricity) and its main supplier, Venezuela, has notably reduced its shipments.
The Cuban government aspires to reduce this dependency and has a plan so that by 2030 37% of its energy mix (just over 3,500 megawatts) comes from renewable sources.
The country has been going through a serious economic crisis for two years due to the pandemic, the tightening of US sanctions and failures in national management.