Power savings stay on the same trajectory I noted a couple weeks ago. Basic industries (shown below as EDELCA) and Caracas (EDC) are saving energy, everyone else increasing power consumption even faster than the historic trend.
This month the worst culprit was Maracaibo, with electricity use growing 12% year over year.
This second table shows the evolution of peak load, year-over-year. Peak demand rose fast in Cadafe’s wide service area as well as in Valencia and Maracaibo. With all the attention going into building new generation, this rising peak demand will lead to blackouts unless a bunch more investment goes into transmission lines. I know that’s in the plans, but since it makes for a less glamorous ribbon-cutting, transmisison is often left for last — not just in Venezuela.
Loma de Niquel, the country’s only nickel mine and smelter, boosted its electricity consumption to 44 gigawatt-hours, its highest consumption since last April. It turns out, though, that I was wrong last time in saying that they hadn’t been affected by rationing. Their increased energy use comes from the restart of a damaged furnace at the mill after maintenance. The return to two furnaces means they are increasing power use, but they are running both at less than full capacity in order to save power.