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Ecuadorian government analyzes strategies to face energy crisis

Quito, May 16 (Prensa Latina) The Government of Ecuador is analyzing several strategies such as the rental and purchase of thermal energy to overcome the crisis that this sector is facing today in the Andean nation tog.

The Minister in charge of Energy and Mines, Roberto Luque, confirmed that between 300 and 400 megawatts (MW) are being sought in this way with generator ships and engines placed on land.

This measure, according to the official, includes renting a 120 MW generator ship which will be paid 20 cents per kilowatt and another one of 106 MW and generators on land for at least 150 MW more.

One of the ships should be operational in July and part of the onshore generating equipment in August.

The government wants to make sure that it does not buy the equipment from intermediaries, he said.

Likewise, Luque highlighted as other alternatives to the energy crisis, the recovery of thermoelectric generators and the interconnection with Colombia and Peru.

The Energy Minister also mentioned new generation projects, such as the search for interested private investors with the objective of having at least 3,000 additional MW in the long term.

Meanwhile, blackouts continue to be suspended in the country until May 26, thanks to the improvement of the reservoirs that feed the hydroelectric plants.

The energy crisis in Ecuador worsened in mid-April, with blackouts of up to 13 hours in some places, although the cuts have been suspended since May 1.

Luque stated that the interruption of the electric service caused losses to the country of US$ 12 million for each hour without electricity.

The National Assembly (Parliament) is carrying out an audit of the sector’s problems in order to determine responsibilities.