5 Feb 2014

CNMI court rules power purchase agreement invalid

5:56 pm on 5 February 2014

The power purchase agreement entered into by the Northern Marianas government with a Delaware company called Saipan Development LLC has been declared invalid by the Superior Court

In an order granting Commonwealth Utilities Corporation's motion for partial summary judgment, the Superior Court found the then-governor Benigno Fitial had no authority to suspend the CUC's procurement regulations, and the deal with the company was non-binding from the beginning.

Mr Fitial and the then attorney general Edward Buckingham signed the power purchase agreement in August 2012 for a new power plant on Saipan.

The alleged secret signing of the no-bid, 25-year 190-million US dollar deal was one of the issues that led to the filing of impeachment charges against Mr Fitial, who subsequently resigned as governor.