Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Discusses Electrical Service

FL171155 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 0200 GMT 5 Feb 87

[Exchange between President Fidel Castro and Lidio Ramon, director of the
Union of Electrical Transmission and Distribution Enterprises, at annual
meeting of directors of the Basic Industry Ministry, MINBAS, held on 30
January in Havana recorded]

[Text] [Ramon] We wanted to explain to you...

[Castro, interrupting] Yes.

[Ramon] ...Something that concerns you, which is the development of
electrical service in the eastern provinces.

[Castro] Yes.

[Ramon] For example...

[Castro, interrupting] You made a great effort this year.

[Ramon] Yes, this year electricity was provided to...

[Castro] You reached a total... [changes thought] What was your total this

[Ramon] It was a total of 117,000 homes.

[Castro] Of the 117,000, how many were in the eastern provinces?

[Ramon] In the eastern provinces, including Sancti Spiritus...

[Castro, interrupting] Yes.

[Ramon] Electrical service was provided to 54,200, 49 percent of the total.

[Castro] Yes. Now this year you have 80,000 planned...

[Ramon, interrupting] This year the plan for new service is slightly less.
Service will be provided to approximately 63,100.

[Castro]  And how many received service last year?

[Ramon] Well, of those 117,000, 100,000 received new service because there
are approximately 10,000 homes, consumers, temporary hook-ups [tendederas]
were eliminated, etcetera.

[Castro] Yes.

[Ramon] New service was provided to 100,000, of those 100,000...

[Castro, interrupting] But that is a lot because you eliminated 10,000
temporary hook-ups.

[Ramon] They were eliminated for 10,000 homes, as well as for 5,000 homes
in sugar mills.

[Castro]  That is correct.

[Ramon] You know that the lines in houses at sugar mills are a mess.
Unfortunately, they are lines that are more than 50 years old.

[Castro] Then how much do you have left in the eastern provinces, having

[Ramon, interrupting] This year, 35,000 homes are left in the eastern

[Castro]  There are 35,000.

[Ramon] That is 44 percent of the total amount that will receive

[Castro]  And the rest will be for new homes?

[Ramon]  The rest, well new homes...

[Castro, interrupting] Yes, what limited us the most, the availability of

[Ramon]  This year...

[Castro, interrupting] No, and also the cost of fuel, the need for...

[Ramon, interrupting]  Yes, there is a limited factor, which is fuel.

[Castro] We would like it to continue growing at that tremendous rate.

[Ramon] In any event, commander, we...[changes thought] we will not
overfulfill that new service goal the 75,000 new services...

[Marcos Portal, Basic Industry Minister, interrupting] You set goals of
63,000, 64,000 new services that will not be overfulfilled.

[Castro] Clearly, not overfulfilling that goal indicates... [changes
thought] how much does 50,000 new consumers indicate...

[Ramon, interrupting] Well, 100,000 new consumers signifies 40,000 tons of

[Castro] That is 100,000?

[Ramon] Yes, now where are we going... [changes thought] Where do we want
to overfulfill? That is what we wanted to explain to you.

For example, if you bring normal conditions to a house in a sugar center,
you construct the lines. That is not a new service because, on the
contrary, I think that construction causes loss of lines. If you provide
electrical service, you may have some savings initially.

We plan to provide electrical service to more homes at the sugar mills and
also to continue our plan to eliminate hook-ups, improve our electrical
service, and decrease losses on the line.

[Castro] And you charge, you charge for it, right?

[Ramon] Yes, it is billed.

[Castro] Those who have hook-ups do not pay. They have never paid.

[Ramon] The hook-ups, from a personal point of view... [changes thought] a
hook-up that draws power from a dairy, from the state's point of view, the
service would be charged to the diary but that is...

[Castro, interrupting] Yes, when it draws from another house, then yes.

[Ramon] But that citizen does not pay anything, do you understand? There
are others who do pay, for instance the one which comes from a private
meter, which at that time was allowed. Those five homes would pay for its
point of origin.

[Castro] How do you calculate the domestic consumption of energy? What do
you call it? Residence...

[Ramon, interrupting] Residential.

[Castro] How much... [corrects himself] How would you estimate its behavior
in 1987 in comparison to 1986?

[Ramon] on the bill, people might consume 2 pesos more. Assuming they
conserve 50 percent, the average, the national average would be
approximately 115 kilowatts per hour. That is how we estimated a savings of
140,000 tons of fuel, if it is conserved.

[Castro] That is if one conserves, was it 129 kilowatts?

[Ramon] At the end of the year we of 129 kilowatts per hour per consumer.

[Castro] If 115 kilowatts were consumed...

[Ramon, interrupting] We would save 140,000 tons of fuel.

[Castro] You estimate that is more or less what is consumed?

[Ramon] I estimate it is that amount. It is not just... [changes thought]
when I say "I" estimate, I am not just referring to myself. I am referring
to our comrades. We believe the reaction will be to conserve.

[Castro] How much do you estimate the income will increase?

[Ramon] It will increase by 58 million pesos.

[Castro] That is the estimate?

[Ramon] That is this estimate and the average bill should be around 12
pesos per consumer. It is now approximately 8 to 20 centavos. Now, if you
divide 12, 12 [repeats himself] pesos into 30 days, that equals 40 centavos
daily. That means if an average family -- I am speaking of an average,
right? Because not everyone pays 12 pesoa. That is obvious. Some pay 30, 40
pesos and others pay 7 or 4 pesos. If an average home receives electrical
service, the entire family would pay 40 centavos daily.

[Castro] At this year's rate, between 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990, how much
can we accomplish in 4 years?

[Ramon] For example...

[Castro, interrupting] What percentage would we achieve?

[Ramon] If you will allow me, I can tell you by province so that you can
have an idea...

[Castro] No, no, no, tell me about the east, the eastern provinces.

[Ramon] The east? For example, in 1990 we would achieve in Las Tunas...
[corrects himself] Granma 73 percent.

[Castro] Then it is worse.

[Ramon] In Guantanamo... [changes thought] yes, because Granma is at the
lowest level of electrification.

[Castro] Would they reach the goal of 73 percent in 1990?

[Ramon] Guantanamo would reach 76 percent, Holguin 77 percent, Sancti
Spiritus 85 percent, Santiago de Cuba 79 percent, and Las Tunas would reach
88 percent.

In the case of Las Tunas and in the case of Sancti Spiritus, they would
achieve their maximum...

[Castro] I can't understand. You are already at 76 percent. Why do you
think it is so low?

[Ramon] No...

[Castro, interrupting] What percentage would Santiago reach in 1990.

[Ramon] There is a problem. There is a problem I need to explain to you.

[Castro] Oh, that is only the system.

[Ramon] Yes....[corrects himself] no. This is the system, correct; now we
have the two problems here in the eastern area. One is that the homes are

[Castro] Yes.

[Ramon] Because there is a level, for example, when Las Tunas reaches...

[Castro] Oh, I see, you cannot go any further because the homes are

[Ramon] Please allow me to explain. When Las Tunas reaches 88 percent, it
is 100 percent in Las Tunas because Las Tunas has more than 15,000
scattered homes that cannot receive electrical service if they are not
grouped together.

[Castro] Correct, and when you reach 73 percent in Granma, what happens?

[Ramon] I reach, when I reach...[changes thought] the most that can be
achieved in Granma is 88 percent.

[Castro] But you will achieve 73 percent in 1990?

[Ramon] We should reach that. In order for Granma to reach the country's
national average, it will take us this 5-year period and part of the next.

[Castro] Why? Because it is scattered?

[Ramon] Commander, 11 percent of the homes in Granma are scattered. There
will always be homes that cannot receive electrical service if they are not
grouped together.