Thursday, April 27, 2017

Scots pair delivering Cuba’s first major renewables project

Scots pair delivering Cuba's first major renewables project
Written by Reporter - 27/04/2017 8:18 am

Two Scots, including the head of the biggest manufacturer of Harris
Tweed, are helping deliver Cuba's first major renewables project.

A ground-breaking ceremony at Ciro Redondo sugar mill today will herald
the start of construction on one of four planned biomass power plants
which will add 300 megawatts to the country's power grid.

Generating electricity partly from residues of its sugar crop, the
£500million scheme is seen as vital to reducing Cuba's reliance on oil
imports from Venezuela.

Former UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson chaired Havana Energy after being
asked by the Cuban government to help find a solution to their energy
needs. The company secured a joint venture with the Cuban sugar ministry
in 2012 to build the plants and found technical and investment partners
in the Chinese conglomerate Shanghai Electric.

The joint venture, Biopower Ltd, will be headed by Havana-based Scot,
Andrew MacDonald, who also has a home in South Uist, in the Outer Hebrides.

Mr MacDonald said: "The fact that we are now delivering the first of
these power stations should give other investors confidence in the
potential to do business, particularly at a time when change is in the
offing and opportunities are many and varied."

Mr Wilson, a UK Business Ambassador and chairman of Harris Tweed
Hebrides, said progress on the project had been "a long haul made
infinitely more difficult by the American blockade."

He added: "Without Andrew's presence on the ground and his utter
commitment to overcoming obstacles, we would never have reached this point.

"There is still the challenge of funding subsequent plants but the first
one was always going to be the most difficult."

In addition to residues of the sugar crop, power will be generated by
burning an invasive weed called marabou.

Source: Energy Voice | Scots pair delivering Cuba's first major
renewables project - News for the Oil and Gas Sector -

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