June 10, 2020 Read More →

Puerto Rican government gave unfair advantage to company landing first major post-Maria power project

Associated Press:

A report published Wednesday accused Puerto Rico’s government of giving unfair advantage to a company that obtained a $1.5 billion contract and secured the first large generation project since Hurricane Maria.

The island’s power authority disputed the report’s claims.

The Ohio-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a nonprofit research company, said in its report that it obtained documents in part via litigation that show an irregular process leading up to the contract awarded to New Fortress Energy to deliver natural gas. Robertson added that gas industry lobby group, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), disagrees with the NCCC and wants to keep selling gas at inflated prices into the domestic market.

The report accuses Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority of meeting repeatedly with company officials after receiving an unsolicited proposal and providing them with advance information on the two power stations that would start operating on natural gas instead of diesel.

The contract signed in March 2019 “appears to repeat many of the same offenses that has brought the agency and Puerto Rico to its current state of insolvency,” the report said.

The report, which was co-authored by Ingrid Vila Biaggi, a former Puerto Rico chief of staff, also accused the island’s power company of not thoroughly investigating the project’s environmental, safety and health impacts.

[Dánica Coto]

More: Puerto Rico power company contract worth $1.5B questioned

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