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Energy Crisis in Ecuador: Noboa Declares Emergency in Sector and Calls for Minister’s Resignation

The president of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency in the electrical sector and requested the resignation of the Energy Minister following scheduled power cuts due to a drought in the country.

Noboa announced on social media that he has declared an emergency in the electricity sector and asked for the resignation of Energy Minister, Andrea Arrobo.

He mentioned that there have been acts of sabotage in certain power plants and emphasized that his administration has filed a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office.

After Arrobo resigned, Noboa appointed the Minister of Transportation, Roberto Luque, as the new Energy Minister. He stated that corruption and incapacity have been the main issues in the energy sector in recent years.

The Ministry of Energy announced temporary rationing due to the drought, and Colombia also stopped exporting energy to Ecuador as a measure to deal with the drought associated with El Niño.

There were power cuts of up to three hours, according to the schedules set by the electricity providers. Noboa blamed the ongoing issues in the energy sector on corruption and inefficiency.

Following the ministry’s announcement, Noboa declared that in April, households would only be charged 50% of their electricity bill. He assured that there would be no more blackouts in the week.

The power cuts affected the capital, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Manta, and other cities, with rationing of at least two hours in ten provinces over the weekend.

The Ministry of Energy explained that temporary cuts were necessary to manage demand at the national level and urged citizens to reduce consumption during the critical week. They hoped for rain to increase energy generation in hydroelectric plants.

During the presidency of Guillermo Lasso, Ecuador also faced power outages due to low river flows feeding hydroelectric plants. An agreement was reached with Colombia for energy purchases during that time.

Colombia exported 129 gigawatts/hour to Ecuador in March, as both countries dealt with the effects of droughts related to climate change.

(With information from AFP and AP)

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