Jesse Chacón's report card

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B2ElectricidadShortly after taking office as the new Electricity Minister, Jesse Chacón made a big pledge: he would resign from his post if his 100-day plan did not achieve its proposed goals.

The 100 days have now ended (if weekends and holidays are included in the count) and it’s time to review if Chacón has delivered on his promise … or if he should step down.

Chacón believes he has succeeded in some aspects: thanks to the incorporation of 1,380 megawatts to the national powergrid, the “electricity generation system has been stabilized”. Another claim is that interruptions have been reduced by 45% in comparison to last year.

He also announced a future change in the entire rate scale, to be implemented after the 8-D local elections. According to him, “…some prices will go up while others will go down”. Finally, he has committed himself to include wind power ASAP in the national electric grid and he launched a new PR campaign, encouraging people to save energy. But it’s not much different from that of his predeccesor, with the exception of a new name and logo.

So, has Chacón succeded in the end? Well, the fact that the “electricity emergency” has been extended by the government for another 90 days probably means that the answer is no.

Blackouts continue to be an ordeal for many people around the country. Several states keep having daily interruptions, including Aragua, Falcón, Miranda and Zulia. But the worst situation is in Anzoátegui, where the blackouts there last from three to ten hours. Even Caracas (supposed to be an electric “safe haven”) is suffering more blackouts than ever before. The situation in the capital has already deteriorated since early this year.

Things are not better inside the national electric company (CORPOELEC). Workers’ unions are opposed to the State’s invervention of the company (as part of the emergency decree) and they have threatened management with a strike. But the government released a special regulation which could consider any possible protest as a “sabotage against the national electric system”.

So, what’s the government’s “emergency” for? Could it be, perhaps, for buying overpriced power plants?

1 COMMENT

  1. No one seriously believed hat in a 100 days it would be possible to end the blackouts , Jesse was evidently trying to dramatize his and the regimes resolve to act with serious effort to try to remedy at least in part the disastrous result of 14 years of neglect and mismanagement. . They are doing it because they realize that power failures make the regime unpopular and affect its voter base , not because they have any commitment to good governance. The important thing is to keep itself in power , to monopolize power . The question to ask is has the power situation improved ?? and the answer its that it probably has , not enough to remedy the problems any significant and lasting way but enough so that the effects of the power failures are not as bad as they were just a few months ago. Also because they ve had to act with speed they have showered a lot more money on work and repairs that a more methodical approach would have avoided , Additionally to judge from whats been discovered in the Chico burgues case currently on trial in the US the emergency has allowed some corrupt officials to make huge profits from awarding contracts at a miuch higher price than justifiable . I sense that Jesse is an improvement on the Chavez fellow and that because he is attempting to make a come back from his previous ostracized situation he will make a better effort at inmproving things although at a cost which is enormous for the resources at hand . The power situation is a long way from normalization but is probably best served if they keep jesse at the job . Even if he desrves the embarrasment of being shown to be a lier in promising things that he cant deliver on , its probably better ( absent other better alternatives) that he be kept at the job !! .

  2. Gustavo,

    Perhaps as a reference, I produced this little diagram of Arne Chacón’s brother:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_7EGbTkUUXw/Uf0tfNjPzeI/AAAAAAAADrE/OHeIJJlyCTY/s1600/jessechacon.png

    Another thing: Arne Chacón’s brother was recently in Germany and met people from the following companies:
    AEG Power Solutions, Skytron, MAN Turbo & Diesel, Alfasolar, Vestas, Andrix Hidro und Vihoalco
    It would be interesting if someone could follow up the deals that will come from here and how overpriced they will be. Perhaps our deputies should warn Chacón to give details or else…

    • Used to be that Germany had no law like the US¨Anti corrupt practices act which penalizes companies that engage in corrupt practices when doing business outside the US , Then Germany has its own little scandal and they ennacted a similar Law . German companies now have to be very careful in how they do business abroad . Probably any scam now has to involve contracting the sale of their wares and services with an intermediary company outside germany which has corrupt links to local officials .

  3. Question: what has caused this energy crisis? Venezuela (pre-Chavez) was a model of hydroelectric power, which is relatively low in carbon-footprint and cheap. The country used to export electricity. What went wrong?

    • What went wrong?

      1. Terminate all existing and long term plans for replacement and expansion, despite growing demand.
      2. Allow funds for maintenance to “disappear” without the actual maintenance having been done.
      3. Allow the currency to inflate multiple times, without raising the cost of energy, so that the system’s expenses exceed its income.

      Combine all ingredients and allow them to fester and rot for 14 years.

      • Excellent! Succinct and to the point. You forgot point 4 however:

        Point 4) Make the managing director of this enterprise the brother of the acting President, with no qualifications for the job whatsoever…

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