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article imagePuerto Rico's governor announces plan to privatize power utility

By Karen Graham     Jan 24, 2018 in World
San Juan - Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello announced on Monday he intends to sell off the U.S. territory’s troubled power utility, PREPA to the private sector, saying the process could take roughly 18 months to complete.
In a televised statement, Rosello said, “The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has become a heavy burden on our people, who are now hostage to its poor service and high cost. What we know today as the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority does not work and cannot continue to operate like this.”
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosello announces sell off of PREPA.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosello announces sell off of PREPA.
Governor Ricardo Rossello
Rosello then went on to describe the coming process of selling off PREPA. It will come in three phases, he said, calling it a move toward a “consumer-centered model,” and a "leap into the modernization of Puerto Rico."
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz was against privatization, tweeting in Spanish, "The privatization of PREPA will put the economic development of the country in private hands. The authority will serve other interests."
Communities in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico  including this one in Naranjito  have been awaiting billio...
Communities in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico, including this one in Naranjito, have been awaiting billions of dollars worth of aid from the US government
The bottom line for selling off PREPA? The transaction will still need the approval of a federal oversight board and a federal judge because PREPA is in bankruptcy. The utility has been in disarray for years, plagued with mismanagement and underinvestment.
In November of 2017, PREPA's executive director, Ricardo Ramos, resigned over the scandal caused by PREPA's decision to award an electrical restoration contract to Whitefish Energy, a small company that reportedly had just two employees prior to starting work on the island.
Puerto Rico's electrical grid is over 28-years-old, older than the industry standard for the United States. The grid was decimated when Hurricane Maria hit the island territory in September, knocking out power to its 3.3 million customers. Today, four months later, less than 64 percent of homes and businesses are receiving power.
More about Puerto rico, Preparations, Power grid, Electricity, poor management
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