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Last updateSat, 20 Apr 2019 12am

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    Friday, April 19, 2019-2:17:28A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Contract for Rota power generator OK’d

COMMONWEALTH Utilities Corp. Executive Director Gary Camacho on Thursday said International Bridge & Construction Marianas Inc. will soon deliver a used 2-megawatt generator to Rota.

Last week, the Office of the Attorney General, CUC and IBCM signed the controversial contract for the purchase of the $690,000 generator through emergency procurement.

Gary Camacho

“The contractor is now preparing to move forward,” Camacho said, adding that IBCM was given a 36-day notice to proceed with the project.

In January, the CUC board declared an emergency on Rota to address critical power issues and establish a reserve capacity for its power plant.

The board said Rota had experienced a series of power outages due to problem with its 40-year-old Mitsumi engine.

CUC said Rota needs reserve capacity to sustain power while the engine is shut down and repaired.

But House Minority Leader Edwin Propst questioned the “exorbitant” $160,000 unit and equipment freight cost for the proposed emergency acquisition of a used 2-megawatt power engine.

He noted that the cost of shipping a 40-foot container from the U.S. mainland to Saipan is less than $10,000.

Propst said CUC will pay $160,000 for the power engine because it includes renting a crane which, he added, should not be shouldered by ratepayers.

CUC, however, said the transaction has been reviewed and scrutinized by the Office of the Attorney General.

A Source Selection Committee, with guidance from the AG’s office, has accepted IBCM’s offer as the best solution to resolve the emergency on Rota, CUC added.

Camacho said the delivery and commissioning of the generator within six weeks will resolve the power crisis on Rota.

In February, CUC signed a six-month contract with Rota Resort so it can be CUC’s alternative power source on the island.

Rota Resort is charging a base rate of $0.19 per kilowatt hour while CUC sells power to customers at a base rate of $0.10 per kilowatt hour, but this does not include the fuel charge.

Camacho said the contract with Rota Resort can be terminated anytime and is only on a “as-needed basis.”