The Minister of Energy, Fernando Santos, said the day before in a press conference that "there is not enough generation to meet the demand and that is why we need to guarantee that there is no electrical collapse."
According to Santos, the situation is "extremely critical", with the worst drought in the last 50 years, especially in the eastern region, where 90% of the country's power plants are located. The lack of rain affects the Amazon basin, which supplies the country's main hydroelectric power plants, according to the government.
The minister added that the power cuts will be four hours in the Sierra and Amazonas regions, and three hours in the Coast region, on a rotating schedule in the morning and afternoon between 07:00 and 18:00 local time.
Ministro #FernandoSantos: "No eludo la responsabilidad. El sector eléctrico viene arrastrando problemas desde hace dos años. Hemos firmado El Aromo y Villonaco III para nueva generación de energía en mi periodo".#NuestroTrabajoContinúa
The tweet reads, "Minister Fernando Santos: "I do not shirk responsibility. The electricity sector has been dragging problems for two years. We have signed El Aromo and Villonaco III for new power generation in my term."
Due to the insecurity and violence facing the country, the official ruled out rationing at night or in the early morning. He expects blackouts to last until mid-December: "We believe that, by mid-December, the new generation will be in full service and the need for power cuts will cease."
The Minister also pointed out that electric companies will publish on their web portals the schedules of outages and that continuous supply will be respected for hospitals, schools, colleges and other establishments.
In Quito, on the other hand, schools, colleges and hospitals will be guaranteed to have continuous electricity.
In this sense, the schedule will focus on guaranteeing that in December, when the Quito Metro comes into operation, it will have a sufficient amount of energy, since it is a large consumer.
To cover the deficit, the sector's authorities have ordered the purchase of electricity from other countries. For this purpose, there is an allocation of US$ 160 million that is included in the budgets of the distribution companies.
Santos said that another 460 megawatts of energy are expected to be available next December, which will be contracted urgently through a bidding process.
On October 18, the Government declared an emergency in the electricity sector to safeguard the supply of energy to the population and to accelerate the energy contracting processes.
According to the National Electricity Operator of Ecuador (Cenace), the severe drought has reduced by half the operation of the country's main hydroelectric power plants, mainly those located in the southern region: Paute Molino, Mazar and Sopladora, which together have an installed capacity of 1,756 megawatts.
Amid this scenario, Cenace recommended some measures, including recovering the thermoelectric park, having an electrical interconnection with Colombia, making investments to increase generation, organizing a continuous supply of fuels and addressing the major problems of congestion or shortness in the transmission network.