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CUC board approves $1.8M  for power generation

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THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board on Friday allowed  management to transfer $1.8 million from its restricted account so CUC can fund “unanticipated and urgent power generation costs, including ongoing engine overhauls, engine repairs and emergency power supply.”

These include the $130,000 balance for engine overhaul cost; $100,000 emergency diesel engine 1 foundation repair; $957,000 Aggreko power rental extension; and $670,000 permanent diesel engine 1 foundation repair.

All the CUC board members present approved the fund transfer: Miranda Manglona, Jovita Paulino, Ignacio Perez and Matthew Holley who attended via teleconference.  Weston Thomas A. Deleon Guerrero was absent.

In Nov. 2019, the CUC board authorized the management to use $7.3 million from the restricted fund to pay for engine overhauls and repairs..

In January, CUC allocated an additional $1.3 million for the  90-day extension of Aggreko’s temporary power generator.

CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said if the public utility were getting timely payments from its major customers, which include government accounts, CUC would not need to tap restricted accounts.

 

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board members meet with the management in the CUC conference room on Friday. Photo by Junhan B. Todino

“But we’re going to replenish the restricted accounts as more revenue comes in,” he said.

Camacho said they also realize the challenges faced by their major customers due to global economic difficulties.

In a presentation, CUC power plant senior engineer Bradley Neuse told the board that the goal is to continue “critical repairs” while ensuring that adequate power reserve capacity is maintained.

He said the engine 5 overhaul is expected to be completed by September while the engine 7 overhaul will be done by fall next year.

With engine 5 back online, CUC will have an 18-megawatt reserve, Neuse said, adding that CUC will increase its reserve capacity to eventually eliminate its dependency on Aggreko.

Prior to the expiration of the extended contract with Aggreko on Sept. 20, he said, CUC will have 24 megawatts in reserve capacity.

Once the permanent engine 1 foundation is repaired, Neuse said, CUC will have 24 megawatts reserve capacity, which will allow for the engine 7 overhaul..

These projects are expected to be completed between January and February 2021.

Neuse said the engine 5 overhaul is already 90% complete and will be online by Sept. 1.

Like most businesses around the world, he added, CUC’s supplier was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and had to deal with an unanticipated need for critical components, which had to be manufactured. 

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