CUC trying to reactivate Power Plant 3 for emergency


The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. is trying to reactivate Power Plant 3 in Isley Field on Saipan, for use during emergencies or disasters.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho said yesterday that they want to establish an independent power system.

Camacho said a small engine will be used at Power Plant 3 just for water wells.

The funding, he said, will be coming from the $7.3-million federal grant for the water hazard mitigation.

Power Plant 3 was deactivated in 2002.

Now that a lot of water wells in the area have been rehabilitated, Camacho said that CUC has determined that Power Plant 3 is important based on the lessons they learned from super typhoons Soudelor and Yutu.

In the event of future disasters, Camacho said CUC wants to be able to turn to Power Plant 3, which will then self-generate a power supply and get the water distribution system moving forward.

He said they will be able to distribute water to approximately 75 percent of their consumers.

Camacho said they are working closely with other agencies to get Power Plant 3 re-established by next year.

Camacho said their target is to complete replacing conductors and wires, and a few other works for power poles, by the end of May.

“However, we are looking to consider the additional work required on power poles that have been identified as damaged or [need] to be replaced,” he said.

Camacho said they are going to order about 1,200 to 1,500 more concrete power poles.

Saipan has over 12,000 power poles.

Camacho said the scheduled outages have been challenging, but they are required for the safety of line crews on Saipan and Tinian.

He said they still have a lot of crew working on the water mitigation project. “A lot of that work has been done in the Obyan area and the Isley area,” he said.

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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