3 Oct 2008

Huge price tag on struggling Northern Marianas power provider raises eybrows

2:30 pm on 3 October 2008

A measure enacted by the Legislature requiring the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation to sell its power system for 250 million US dollars is causing a stir in the Northern Marianas.

This week the House of Representatives voted to override the Governor's veto of the CUC privatisation bill

The legislation requires the CUC to privatize its power system through a bidding process, and has set a 250 million US price tag for prospective private sector buyers.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago says plans to privatise the company, which has been plagued by problems, have been around for years.

"Most of everybody here, their opinion is like no one is going to pay 250 million for that. Everybody knows that the past few months we've had like rolling blackouts. But we're doing fine right now cos we've got temporary generators from Aggreko but that's just for like six months. So the rehabilitation is ongoing."

Mark Rabago.