$950K more eyed for CUC’s fuel tank farm

The U.S. government is asking the federal court for permission to add $950,000 more to fund multiple fuel-related improvements to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s fuel tank farm for Power Plant 4.

If the request is approved, the total funding ceiling for the project will reach $1.55 million; its original funding ceiling was $600,000.

The change would require amending an existing task order, Task Order 16, as outlined in a court-mandated stipulated order.

The original Task Order 16 consists of the purchase, shipment, and installation of two 20,000-gallon shop-built horizontal fuel tanks to replac the corroded horizontal tanks at Power Plant 4.

Bradley R. O’Brien, senior trial attorney of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental Enforcement Section, informed the U.S. District Court for the NMI last Friday that the horizontal cylindrical tanks have already been delivered to the CNMI’s port during the week of Aug. 12, and will be installed soon.

O’Brien said the amended Task Order 16 will include, among other works, replacing the existing vertical storage tanks with the new tanks and associated infrastructure.

He said the approved Task Order 16 includes $600,000 in court registry funding.

Amended Task Order 16, he said, includes an additional $950,000 that is proposed to be grant-funded, subject to the approval of the grant stakeholders (the CNMI and the Department of the Interior).

According to Gilbane Federal, the court-appointed Engineering and Environmental Management Company, the bulk fuel storage at Power Plant 4 for diesel used in power generation consists of four aboveground storage tanks (two horizontal tanks and two vertical tanks) within a common secondary containment (fuel farm).

The EEMC said these bulk fuel storage tanks are corroded and, if not replaced, will require extensive repairs and improvements to bring the tanks into compliance with applicable American Petroleum Institute standards.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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