Electric ills

After yesterday’s announcement that government working hours will be cut to save electricity, Nicolas Maduro tried to justify the measures in his weekly TV show by putting most (if not all) of the blame on sorry-ass consumers and especially on their overuse of Air Conditioning and TV sets.

His response? Launching “a really nice PR campaign” to save energy. Because it looks like the current one is not working.

He fell really short of pulling a HectoRodriguez and say that using AC to fight the heat can turn you into an “escualido”.

But is he right? Not quite. The Electricity Ministry didn’t reach many of its goals last year. Take it from here, NaldoXX.

(The Ministry’s report) details that the Generation Area brought online 432 MWs to the electric powergrid… However, in its 2013 report, the office’s holder (Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon) established that the goal for 2014 was to bring 2.137 new MWs into service.”

The missing megawatts comes probably from delayed proyects all over the country: Guri, Planta Cumana and TermoZulia plants. Meanwhile, there were 394 planned maintenance works in sub-stations, but only ONE was completed. One quarter of 1%.

Wait, there’s more: Of 1,026 planned new electric sub-stations promised, just 20 were finished. Let’s blame El Niño for that too.

[HT: Simon Romero, for this cool tweet from Manaus, which gives the name of this post.]





33 thoughts on “Electric ills

  1. …again… they have electrical stations they installed since 2010 that are either not in operation or never completed… many ghost contracts with equipment sitting rusting away. In Punto Fijo, there are 3 turbines that were installed in 2009 for their main source of power, and today one is operational at 60%. The other 2 are in need of repairs, but nothing has been done, so the people sit in the dark every night. instead of spending 3mm on repairs, the gov is going to install 2 new turbines at a new station for well over 200mm, WOW.

    Other electrical stations are suffering the same fait, either no parts or simple tools. Several plants installed in 2010 are now non-operational for this very reason, but they are in process of building new just down the road. I guess this way everyone gets their pockets filled with USD and the televisions show the gov brining new stations to the people… its what the people don’t know that is the sad part. The gov could spend 50mm on parts, tools and maintenance and solve most of the electrical issues…. not 200mm on one project…


    • From what I have seen in Africa and elsewhere, the same problem occurs in many foreign aid programs. The donor countries have money to spend on new equipmnt as this generally supports exports of their domestic manufacturers, but very little money to spend on the R&M which doesn’t provide the same level of support to domestic manufacturers as newbuild exports.
      In Venezuela it would appear that there is much more in the way of commissions, import fees, corruption of all types to be gained from the larger dollar amounts of newbuild versus the smaller amounts of imports of parts for R&M. I suppose we just need to ask the bolichicos at Derwick and their friends at Proenergy.


  2. If public employees are working fewer hours, won’t they fall behind on essential tasks like collecting and publishing economic statistics?


      • Along those lines, if the government still produces the same with employees working on 6 hours a day, does that mean one fourth of the workers can be fired?

        To an extreme, if the government produces more with employees working on 6 hours a day, does that mean all of the workers can be fired?


  3. OT but I see that there is some talk now occurring about expropriation of Polar by PSUV types. I’ve always thought that the idiots in charge knew that they could never expropriate Polar because that would lead very quickly to increasing hunger and food riots. Is this a facetious question, but could they be that stupid?


    • There’s a pretty intense twitter campaign going on about this. I received this message today:

      #PlanGarra es un plan de defensa de los trabajadores de Empresas Polar organizados en todas las instalaciones para enfrentar los falsos rumores y las recientes acusaciones.

      La Fase 1 del #PlanGarra consiste en arropar las redes, multiplicar el mensaje de @todossomospolar y contrarrestar la campaña de rumores falsos contra la empresa.

      Esta noche vamos con la Fase 2 del #PlanGarra que consiste en demostrar que estamos produciendo al 100% y distribuyendo productos diariamente en todo el país a 190.000 clientes.

      Lo que necesitamos de nuestra red esta noche es estar atentos nuevamente a los mensajes de @todossomospolar y darle RT duro! Siempre con la etiqueta #PlanGarra y mensajes de producción y distribución (instalación, las marcas de nuestros productos, etc)


    • Rumor is Maduro will announce it May 1st. He’s constantly talking about Mendoza (the “pelucón”), the guy has an obsession with him.


      • maburro, as a high percentage of chaburros, has an unhealthy obsession with homosexual men practicing backdoor entering (“pelucón” means “marico”)


  4. We should keep in mind that in “normal” countries residential usage of electricity is a relatively small percentage of the total amount generated and consumed. The world averages are:

    Commercial 12%
    Industrial 51%
    Residential 18%
    Transportation 20%

    In Venezuela, the amount of electricity consumed by Industry has been dramatically reduced in the last decade because Industry itself has been reduced. Aluminum, steel, and cement production plants (huge consumers of electricity) are all operating, if at all, at a fraction of their previous capacities. We know that manufacturing plants all over the country are not functioning at previous capacities, or paralyzed completely. So, by inference, in Venezuela, our actual production of electricity is plunging, even though I cannot document or quantify it. For the purpose of this comment, I tried to find annual electricity production data for Venezuela. Out of three websites that I looked at that publish this data for all the countries of the world, none of the data for Venezuela is newer than 2010.

    I leave you to reach your own conclusions.


      • Thanks. Of course, I am wondering how accurate these numbers are, while noting that we are still missing the figures for the last two years, which I suspect would show a sharp drop.


  5. Chavistas always announce some grandiose plan to accomplish something, don’t follow through, promptly forget about it, and announce the next grandiose plan to cheering throngs. Whenever the plan fails, they just roll out the next scapegoat. It’s kind of like Stalin’s 5 year plans that always fell short. The public is still dumb enough to believe in them.


    • I’m pretty sure the vast majority of the public no longer believes anything they say, and a good percentage of them never did.

      But if you mean the 20% of the die hards, yes, they will believe anything or at least never admit they don’t believe it.


  6. Just as last night, around 3:30 today I heard Maduro say in radio that we had to save because of heat conditions, never mind that a lack of investments has not raised the amount of electricity available. As always, just as good opressing communist do, this government is trying to manage scarcity instead of raising and promoting the availability of goods and services, .



  7. “…Maduro tried to justify the measures in his weekly TV show by putting most (if not all) of the blame on sorry-ass consumers and especially on their overuse of Air Conditioning and TV sets.”

    Because being an asshole bully is the nature of the commies, blaming everything oin those who can’t defend themselves…


  8. Jau,
    Very interesting link. Could you elaborate more on Alejandro Betancourt and his ties to the present electricity crisis, please? Thanks!


    • That’s a lot to tell… not sure this blog has enough space to detail everything. But to say the least it’s very interesting knowing the level of corruption that took place.


  9. The fun part of these sorts of assertions is that, while the government is a bit cloak and dagger about any sort of statistics…the weather data is pretty widely available.

    For example: April, with the exception of the past weekend, has been a remarkably average month as far as temperature goes at CCS. No rain, which is part of the Nino/Nina thing, but, aside from Friday through Monday, when the temperature broke the low 90s (for gringos, anyway), the temperature for the month was within 3 degrees of average (85-86/73-75), above or below. Valencia pretty much had the same thing. The other side of the data, Merida was actually below average for large swathes.

    So, if the national electrical system breaks down over four days of slightly warmer than normal temperatures in an otherwise normal month, expect an unholy cluster—um, hug, later this summer.

    I think the government is making an error here: never blame something that can be widely verified through multiple sources. Wild allegations are fine, as long as they can’t be independtly verified. But weather data? Everyone has that.


    • Just goes to show the level of ignorance and arrogance at claims that can indeed be verified as you have stated.


  10. I lived in Caracas post 1946. In the dry season we NEVER had electricity all day. The ironing and the washing machine had to be used during the few daytime hours we had “luz”. The water didn’t run enough at night to fill the storage container in the attic. Some days we went to shower in a friend’s house in a different urbanizacion where the water had run longer. Venezuela is back in the post WWII years.


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