17 Jan 2011 11:01:09
UK firm signs Cuban biomass energy deal
British company Havana Energy has signed a deal with a company linked with the Cuban Ministry of Sugar to develop biomass generation plants in the country.
The new agreement, with the state-owned company Zerus, will focus on the construction of such facilities near sugar mills, with the first stage involving the development of a 30MW power plant near the Ciro Redondo Sugar Mill, which is located around 40km from Havana.
Currently, Cuba generates around seven percent of its power from renewable sources, however Nelson Labrada, vice-minister of sugar, said: "It is possible via the sugar mills and bagasse-based power plants to generate up to 40 percent of the energy needs of the country today".
The signing of the deal follows a visit by Scottish academics to the country in November, supported by Havana Energy and the SDTI, which looked at the development of renewable energy crops.
Mr Labrada added: "This strategy of using sugarcane bagasse for power generation avoids one of the primary problems with other biomass sources which is supply."
Havana Energy is also involved in the development of small-scale hydro energy and wind power in Cuba.