HAVANA – Cuba will build four new electric plants with a 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) loan from Russia, state-owned utility UNE said.
The project should get under way in April, UNE executive Edier Guzman said.
He said studies by a respected international consulting firm confirm the new electric plants will generate sufficient savings in fuel costs to pay the principal and interest on the loan.
The four new 200 MW plants should become operational between 2022 and 2024, Guzman said.
Three of the units will be located at the Este Habana thermoelectric plant and the fourth will be installed at the Maximo Gomez facility in Mariel, both in western Cuba.
Cuban authorities have set a goal of generating 24 percent of energy used in the country from renewable sources by 2030, earmarking $3.5 billion for the effort.
The island, which produces 4 million tons of oil and gas a year, is not self-sufficient in energy.
Cuba’s energy matrix still depends to a great degree on the roughly 100,000 barrels per day of crude the country receives from Venezuela on generous terms.
Venezuela’s ability to continue supplying oil at a discount to Cuba and other regional allies could be undermined by the Andean nation’s own severe economic difficulties.