8 Oct 2008

CNMI Governor extends CUC emergency declaration

10:59 am on 8 October 2008

The state of emergency declaration on the CNMI's Commonwealth Utilities Corporation has been extended for thirty days.

The move comes after members of the Legislature questioned some of the procurement policies used in obtaining the temporary Aggreko generators that have prevented rolling blackouts.

"The Governor's move follows an earlier declaration two months ago ( Aug 1 )."

The CUC must comply with its own procurement regulations as well as the Commonwealth's unless the CUC executive director finds that compliance isn't feasible to the state of emergency.

In August the Governor said parts of CUC's power plants were in such disrepair that an explosion could maim or kill power plant workers.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago says the CUC urgently needs upgrading .

The governor had to extend it because last month we were able to get temporary power through Aggreko, which is the rental of engines. And so basically the Governor has extended the declaration of the state of emergency so it will have free reign in trying to solve the CUC problem. This means the Governor would have no problem, subject to procurement, contract of supply or amounts involved.

Mark Rabago says the CUC is still up for sale with a price tag of 250 million US dollars.