Castro Seeks to Double Power Generating Capacity with Help from Russian Loans

Putin and Castro
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

According to reports by Russia Today and Russian news agency RIA, the Russian government has ratified an agreement to provide generators at Cuba’s Maximo Gomes and Este Habana power plants, among other concessions.

The Maximo Gomes power plant in Mariel municipality will be equipped with a new 200 MW unit, while Este Habana in Santa Cruz del Norte municipality will have three new 200 MW generators installed.

Russia will reportedly loan Cuba approximately $1.3b billion to expand its power generating capacity.  The loan repayment term is reportedly 10-years.800px-Ufa_thermoelectric_plant_3

This agreement with Russia is part of a larger plan announced by Castro to double electricity generating capacity by 2030.

In addition, the Russian Cabinet approved a draft agreement for a credit of $100m to modernize and expand Cuba’s metallurgical plant Antillana de Acero (Empresa Siderúrgica José Martí).  According to Platts, the electric arc plant produced approximately 400,000 t/y in 2008.

The new Russian loan is part of the restructuring of the $32 billion defaulted debt owed to the Soviet Union.  In 2013, Russia agreed to write off 90% of the Soviet debt and open up new credits to Cuba.

According to reports, the remaining 10%, or $3.5b,  is to be reinvested in the Cuban economy.  It is unclear if this new loan represents such a re-investment in Cuba’s economy.

Inter RAO – Export, a subsidiary of Russian energy producer Inter RAO, will partner up with Cuba’s Energoimport, itself part of Union Electrica of Cuba. Union Electrica is a Cuban state energy company with a total capacity of 3.7gw specializing in electricity generation, transmission and distribution.

According to Alfredo Lopez, Minister of Energy and Mines, wind energy is the focus of an effort to generate 24% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Reportedly, Cuban officials are planning to attract more than $600m in foreign investment to finance construction of renewables.

Castro Seeks to Double Power Generating Capacity with Help from Russian Loans was last modified: October 21st, 2015 by Cuba Journal