Tuesday, May 5, 2009

But I Thought Fidel Said Ethanol was Evil...

Cuba building six sugar mills under ALBA plan

HAVANA, May 4 (Reuters) - Cuba is building six sugar mills for countries participating in a Venezuelan-led cooperation program called the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), the official trade union weekly Trabajadores said on Monday.

Reporting from the heart of he country's machine-building industry in Villa Clara province, the paper said some of the mills would be fitted to produce ethanol and the industry was also supplying spare parts for ALBA countries.

"Six mills are being built, and some will be fitted with technology to convert them to ethanol producers," the paper said.

ALBA, begun by Venezuela and Cuba, also includes Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Dominica, but the article did not say where the mills will be located.

The contract is a boom for Cuba's machine-building industry, which built eight sugar mills for domestic use between 1965 and 1985, and has seen supply contracts for the domestic sugar industry dwindle as it is downsized.

Since the decade began Cuba has closed some 90 mills, all built before the 1959 revolution.

Some of the closed mills and parts were sold to Venezuela. (Reporting by Marc Frank; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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