Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Inaugurates Oil Refinery

FL2507193288 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1153 GMT 25 Jul 88

[Passages within quotation marks recorded]

[Text] yesterday Commander in Chief Fidel Castro inaugurated the first oil
refinery built by the revolution in our country.

Prior to the inauguration ceremony, Guillermo Perez, director of the
refinery, showed Fidel and his entourage the main installations recently
completed in the current oil by-products enterprise.  The vast investment
program which culminates on this 26 July cost 260 million pesos.  Its
equipment, assembling, and putting into operation are fruits of the
generous contribution of the Soviet Union.  It includes a lubricants unit
which is already in operation and produces 60,000 tons per year of
synthetic oils [grasas plasticas] and other oils for multiple industrial

[Castro] "He [Perez] was saying that there is a lubricants unit which has a
capacity of approximately 50,000 or 54,000 tons.  It is very important
because the production of those quality lubricants is a decisive factor for
the functioning of our industry, transportation, and all our equipment.  It
is something of great importance.  During the time of capitalism, that
plant and its production did not exist.

"A synthetic wax plant, as it is called, which produces 5,000 tons is also
something extremely important for the country's economy.  And one of the
plants which is very exciting is the (?recycling) of used lubricants.  The
report I read I think said that it had a capacity of 38,000 tons.  I think
Guillermo [Perez] said it was 50,000--I don't know which of the two data
is... [someone in audience interrupts] Ah, it's clear now.  It processes
50,000 tons of used oil and it (?recycles) 38,000 tons.  That is the
capacity.  So, note how important it is to use used oil, used lubricants.
That is why it is so important, that is why we cannot on a daily basis do
without (?recycling) that used oil.  The oil we used, which at one time we
used to waste, throw away, and possibly contaminate the environment and
cause all kinds of problems, today we once again use as a lubricant."

The leader of the revolution also found out that the asphalt plant and
complex 2, or new refinery, function very efficiently.  It will be able to
produce 1.5 million tons of fuel to increase by 50 percent the capacity
installed here at the triumph of the revolution.

[Castro] "Suffice it to say the following:  The capacity this industry has
for refining is equal to the entire capacity which existed in the country
at the time of the triumph of the revolution.  We can say that today
Santiago de Cuba, by itself, can refine as much petroleum as was refined in
Cuba at the time of the triumph of the revolution."

The first secretary of the PCC Central Committee was also informed that the
recent completion of the modern pier and the hydrogen and sulphur plants
constitutes the end of the fundamental and principal investment process of
the past few years in Santiago de Cuba Province.

[Castro] "We also talked here about the new pier.  It is a very important
project because now we have to supply millions of tons of petroleum every
year.  Finally, there are 10 new installations, in addition to tanks of all
sorts for lubricants, asphalt, and crude oil, which in their entirety
really make up a great industry.

"There are other installations.  The sulphur plant was mentioned which can
produce over 8,000 tons of sulphur.  It doesn't only produce an important
raw material but it improves the whole refining process in the refinery.
He spoke about the nitrogen plant which also produces 200,000 cubic meters
of oxygen.  I asked what they did with that oxygen, and they said they send
it to other centers for industrial use.  He spoke about the hydrogen plant
which is necessary for the process.  Each one of those things perfects the
work of the refinery."

The commander in chief spoke about the variety and quality of the fuel to
be produced by the new units of the Santiago de Cuba refinery; he also
referred to the savings in currency this means to the national economy.

[Castro] "But now it will produce liquefied petroleum gas.  How many tons
of liquefied gas?  If I am wrong, please correct me.  According to what I
read, 12,000 tons of liquefied gas will be produced.  It will supply fuel
to 60,000 family units.  This could be approximately 250,000 or 300,000
people.  This is very important.  Keep in mind that at the triumph of the
revolution, the majority of the population cooked with wood and
(?coal)--that is, if they had anything to cook. [laughter]  It will produce
226,000 tons of kerosene.  According to the data I read, it will provide
domestic fuel to 565,000 family units.  Is that right?  That's right,
family units.  This means that the products o this refinery will help
resolve the problem of fuel which often needs to be imported for millions
of people."

The president of the Councils of State and Ministers announced the
initiation of a very important project for the future in the province.

[Castro] "After analyzing the problem with Comrade [Esteban] Lazo, Comrade
Eddie [not further identified], the minister, and the construction workers,
we arrived at the conclusion to begin building the railroad right away.  In
other words, in the month of August. [applause] I have also also been
thinking about accelerating the projects of the railroad station, and, if
it is possible, and under a small condition, to also have it finished
before the celebration of the party congress [applause] and to link the
refinery with the railroad.

"Presently, each time we need to take fuel to any part of this province,
(?or) to the eastern provinces, we do it with pipes.  Just calculate how
much it costs to transport millions of tons of fuel in trucks.  That is why
it will be a significant savings.  With the use of the railroad, we will be
able to guarantee this province's supply of petroleum, which has to reach
at least Camaguey.  It has to reach especially the eastern provinces where
at least 40 percent of the country's population lives.  Therefore, we
(?and) the railroad construction workers, as a contribution to the
functioning and to the integration of this refinery to the rest of the
country, will make a special effort so that in the shortest possible time
we are linked with a railroad.  That is what we are lacking."

he also emphasized the Soviet cooperation in other economic areas.

[Castro] "It is not enough to analyze the significance of only this project
but also to analyze the significance of all those projects, similar to this
one, which are being built with Soviet cooperation.  Not far from here is
that industry which also has Soviet equipment.  There is a capacity of 1/2
million kilowatts where once there wasn't anything.  We used to refine some
oil here.  However, not a single kilowatt of oil was produced. [sentence as

"I remember those areas very well in old Rente.  I remember this, when I
was still a student at the Lasalle Brothers School.  They used to have a
little recreational area here, they used to bring the students.  That was
one of the good things I was able to learn about.  I had the opportunity to
come here.  They would bring their few students here a couple of times per
week--I think there were about 30 students.  They would take us here to
Rente.  There were some soccer fields.  We would come here on a little boat
just like you do, like many of the workers of this refinery do.  There
wasn't anything there.

"With Soviet cooperation and machinery, we have created there a great power
industry thanks to which we now have those electrification programs.  Now
we could talk about electricity programs.  How many tens of thousands of
houses would receive electricity yearly without that power industry built
in these years?"

The supreme leader of the revolution exhorted the construction workers to
continue working with the dynamism showed here in these last projects.  He
called on the refinery workers to produce with maximum efficiency.

[Castro] "We liked very much the fact that a special effort was being made
in the economic aspect, accounting, costs, savings, how much was spent in
each workshop, and how much each product costs.  That is important and
essential.  That is why we expressed our satisfaction, pride, and happiness
when we saw this project.  We also express desire and at the same time our
faith that this enterprise will be a socialist enterprise model. [applause]
Fatherland or death, we will win.