CUC board OKs transfer of $1.86M for power projects

Only $2.2M left from $12M restricted account intended to replace power engine 8

Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board chair Miranda V. Manglona, extreme right, presides over a special meeting Friday, in which the board approved CUC management’s request to transfer $1.86 million from its restricted account to a non-restricted account for power generation projects. (FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board of directors approved Friday CUC management’s request for the transfer of $1.86 million from its restricted account to non-restricted account for power generation projects.

CUC board chair Miranda V. Manglona, directors Matthew Holley, and Jovita Paulino, and Commonwealth Development Authority board chair Ignacio Perez approved the request during the board’s special meeting at the CUC’s conference room in Dandan Friday.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho briefly explained the need for the additional funding and let CUC power plant senior engineer Bradley Neuse hold a presentation about the projects.

Neuse said the additional funding is needed to address unanticipated and urgent power generation costs, including ongoing engine overhauls, engine repairs, and emergency power supply. “The goal of this funding is to continue critical repairs to ensure adequate power reserve capacity is maintained throughout the ongoing and upcoming engine overhauls and repairs,” he said.

Out of the originally approved $7.3-million funding, $6.87 million has already been spent for engine overhauls and repairs, leaving a balance of $430,000, Neuse said.

Bradley said $1.86 million is needed because of the emergency costs that is worth $2.29 million: $560,000 in additional engine overhaul costs, $100,000 for engine one temporary foundation repair, $670,000 for engine one permanent foundation repair, and $957,000 for Aggreko Power rental extension.

Bradley said the approval of the additional $1.86 million would eliminate CUC’s dependency on Aggreko and increase engine redundancy, power generation, and power reserve capacity.

In a later interview, Camacho said the power generation division did a wonderful job in preparing the plans for the next six months and to see the board of directors supporting them.

Camacho said the restricted account is specifically intended to replace power engine number eight, but the idea is CUC is going to replenish that account as more revenues come in.

Last January, the CUC board approved CUC management’s request for the transfer of $1.3 million needed to pay Aggreko for a 90-day extension on top of the original $1.5-million 90-day contract for a temporary electric power supply while CUC’s generator engines are down for overhaul and repair.

The board approved the transfer of $1.3 million from CUC’s restricted account to unrestricted account for use to extend the Aggreko’s contract and also to install a fuel pipeline.

With the board’s January decision, the board at the time had already released a total of $7.3 million for the emergency repair and overhaul of power engines at Power Plant 1 and to pay Aggreko.

Last November, the board approved the release of $6 million from CUC’s $12 million restricted account. The $6 million was intended for the $1.5-million 90-day contract with Aggreko; $300,000 repair of engine No. 6; $2 million for overhaul of power engine No. 5; and $2 million for the overhaul of power engine No. 7.

CUC’s original plan was, once the Federal Emergency Management Agency reimburses CUC, that $6 million taken from the restricted account will be replenished and that any used funds from that amount will also be returned to the restricted account.

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

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