Cuba to modernize electricity network in Havana with US$10 million OPEC Fund loan
- From: "PL" <pl.nospam@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2005 14:35:06 GMT
Cuba to modernize electricity network in Havana with US$10 million OPEC
Sept. 9 2005
Press Release - OPEC Fund for International Development
The OPEC Fund for International Development today signed a US$10 million
loan agreement with the Republic of Cuba to co-finance the modernization and
expansion of the electricity network in the capital, Havana. The aim of the
project is to improve the quality and efficiency of service delivery, with a
view to boosting the country's socio-economic development.
Much of Havana's electricity distribution network has reached the end of its
useful life, as more than half of the system was built over 50 years ago. In
addition, some power lines and transformers have been in operation since the
1920s. As a result, transmission and distribution losses are high and power
cuts are frequent. Demand for electric power is on the rise, due to the city's
growing population and increased economic activity. Additionally, the
promotion of electricity for household use, instead of the currently
utilized oil-based fuels (which are more polluting and unsafe for cooking
purposes), will increase peak electrical load even further.
Under the project, Havana's high voltage transmission system and medium and
low-voltage distribution network will be fully rehabilitated through the
repair and construction of substations and power lines. Other works will
include the installation of lightning protector cables and modernization of
the underground networks in Havana's historic district. Meters, power lines
and other equipment connecting the distribution network to approximately
435,000 households, as well as major industrial and commercial premises,
will be completely upgraded. Public safety will be enhanced by installing
new street lights and repairing existing ones. Another component will entail
training the staff of Empresa Eletrica Ciudad de la Habana, Havana's largest
provincial electricity provider.
The project will lead to improved living standards for some 1.5 million
people. In addition, the newly-rehabilitated network will encourage the
development of tourism-related businesses, a major source of income for the
The OPEC Fund has approved two previous loans for Cuba that supported
projects in the sectors of water supply and sanitation and agriculture.
Additionally, an emergency grant was extended to the country in 2001 to aid
hurricane victims, while another grant went toward an initiative to renovate
historic buildings in Havana.
Today's agreement was signed in Vienna by H.E. Mrs. Marta Lomas Morales,
Minister of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation of the Republic of
Cuba, and by H.E. Mr. Jamal Nasser Lootah, Chairman of the Governing Board
of the OPEC Fund.
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