Friday, March 20, 2009

Cuba reduces industrial ventilation, cooling appliances imports

Cuba reduces industrial ventilation, cooling appliances imports
Written by Larry Moonze in Havana, Cuba
Friday, March 20, 2009 3:38:07 PM

CUBA has reduced industrial ventilation and cooling appliances imports by 50 per cent since the opening of Frioclima factory in 1992.

Frioclima director general Gladys Maria Balado on Tuesday said the factory, which falls under the Ministry of Steel and Mechanic Industry, produces 207 models ranging from 2.5 kilowatts to 2,255 kilowatts refrigeration equipments.

“This is the only factory in the country but has so far provided 48,454 installations countrywide,” Balado said. “Our objective is to substitute imports and so far we have managed to satisfy about 50 per cent of national demand.”

She said the effort now was on reinvestment so as to modernise the factory and enhance production. The factory uses German technology.

Balado said their products were currently in use in 37 hospitals, 19 pharmaceutical industries, 72 hotels and 73 other sectors of the economy across the country.

She said the only headache had been the US-led economic and commercial sanctions that caused some 25 to 30 per cent production costs, which in 2008 alone, increased to US $1.3 million.

Balado said production costs were affected because Cuba had to import raw materials from Europe due to the US embargo.

The factory requires steel, copper and aluminium for its production line.

On the effects of the global economic crisis, Balado said since the factory was aimed at import substitution, the crisis would not result in production decrease.

She said the need for ventilation and cooling appliances in Cuba was high because the island had a tropical climate.

“The heat here is aggravated by humidity hence these appliances are necessary,” Balado said. “We shall work hard to reduce costs and widen our source for raw materials.î

She said even though the machinery required modernisation, the current production line was first world standard.

Balado said the industry also had technical services brigades across the country for after-sale services.

“We have been developing production lines according to ecological cooling standards,” she said. “These range from smart control systems, remote supervision to no noise units.”

Balado said with planned investments, production would increase although she could not elaborate how much would be required for recapitalization.

“We are making studies,” said Balado. “As a matter of fact, this technology continues to change. All times there are advances in this sphere seeking energy efficient technology and as such we are obliged to permanently improve our lines by buying new machines or technology.”

The International Press Centre facilitated the tour of the Frioclima factory for Havana-based foreign correspondents.



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