6 Jan 2009

CUC emergency declaration in CNMI could continue until middle of 2009

10:57 am on 6 January 2009

The emergency declaration by the Governor of Northern Marianas on the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation could continue being extended until mid year.

Governor Benigno Fitial rolled over the declaration for the sixth month at the end of December.

The order suspends procurement regulations for the corporation allowing the utility company to retain the generators and any other equipment or supplies necessary to maintain reliable power, and it also suspends local environmental regulations.

Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says the emergency order is likely to last as long as the CNMI uses the temporary generators from Aggreko and that contract is for twelve months.

"Yeah basically it says when Benigno Fitial, our Governor, said that most likely from when we'll be in a state of emergency as long as emergency Aggreko generators are in place. So it basically it says you know unless we have reliable power that is generated by our own engines, then we'll basically have this continuing emergency declaration, until we get that."

Mark Rabago says since the temporary Aggreko generators were installed last year there have been minimal power outages.

The CUC is still up for sale with a price tag of 250 million US dollars.