18 Jul 2007

CNMI Chamber of Commerce says high cost of power will drive businesses to close

10:49 am on 18 July 2007

The president of Saipan's Chamber of Commerce, Juan Guerrero, says the high cost of electricity in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas is slowly driving many businesses to the brink of closure.

Mr Guerrero says the situation must be addressed before the economy collapses.

Mr Guerrero, whose family owns a number of businesses, told the Marianas Variety that the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation's higher fluctuating power rates are taking its toll on business that are already struggling.

He says the Commonwealth will be in crisis if the cost of electricity continues to rise without an improvement in the tourism industry.

This month, the CUC increased its fuel electric rates as part of its new power rate formula.

Commercial and government customers pay higher rates.