According to David Pathe, president and CEO of the Canadian company Sherritt International Corporation, “Cuba is an excellent country for commercial relations, and it is a priority for this company, and for me personally, to maintain these beneficial ties.”

Speaking during a press conference this Thursday, March 2, to mark the 90th anniversary of the corporation, Pathe explained that relations with the island date back two decades, with active operations in the mining and energy sectors.

“As a responsible foreign investor, Sherritt has worked hard to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with Cuba, with the goal of creating sustainable prosperity for the company, its partners, and for the Cuban people in general,” he said.

Pathe also noted that the company’s investments in the island include: a joint venture mining enterprise located in Moa, which produced 33,700 tones of nickel and 3,700 tones of cobalt in 2015; a one-third interest in the energy producer Energas S.A. with production capacity of 506 megawatts (15% of the Cuban network); and an oil business that produces approximately 15,000 barrels per day (one-third of all oil produced in Cuba).

Regarding the U.S. blockade, Pathe stressed that the Canadian corporation he leads has also suffered its direct impact.

He explained that currently, neither he, nor his family, nor other company directors can enter the United States due to their business relations with the island. However, he explained that they were ready to face such consequences, in order to maintain relations with Cuba, and described the blockade as an offensive and ineffective policy.

As for the firm’s plans for 2017, he stated: “We intend to allocate capital for Block 10 (located in the Varadero power plant); extend the life of our energy business in Cuba and further strengthen our strategic relations in order to optimize opportunities in the Cuban energy sector.”

 “In addition,” he concluded, “we will continue working with our Cuban partners to strengthen our nickel and cobalt businesses and to seek opportunities to increase energy production in the country.”