7 Oct 2008

CNMI Governor extends state of emergency for Commonwealth Utilities Corporation

11:13 am on 7 October 2008

CNMI Governor, Benigno Fitial has extended the state of disaster emergency for the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation for another 30 days, adding stipulations after members of the Legislature questioned some of the procurement policies used in obtaining the Aggreko generators.


Under the new stipulations, CUC must comply with its own procurement regulations as well as the CNMI's, except if the CUC executive director finds that such compliance is not feasible to the disaster emergency.

In his earlier executive order, Fitial said parts of CUC's power plants were in such disrepair that an explosion could maim or kill power plant workers.

The new order also states that, while the Aggreko generators' additional 13 megawatts of power to the island has meant the difference between continued rolling blackouts and largely continuous service to CUC electric customers, unforeseen technical issues have arisen, causing some forced outages.

One of the challenges, according to the declaration, is the failure of the electrical production and distribution facilities, in particular the Chalan Kiya distribution transformers, which require immediate maintenance.

The order directs CUC to procure as soon as possible the necessary technical expertise, labor, parts and materials to fix the equipment.