Est. damage to CUC’s power 
on Saipan, Tinian at $17.3M

Repair at Saipan’s water, wastewater costs $626,075 as of Oct. 26

The Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s preliminary assessment places the cost of the damage to the power systems on Saipan and Tinian at $17.3 million, while the total estimated cost to repair the water and wastewater system on Saipan alone has already reached $626,075.

In his report to the CUC board of directors yesterday, CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho disclosed that damage to the power transmission and distribution system on Saipan involves 1,348 power poles, 767 transformers, and 783,440 feet of wires, for a total estimated cost of $11,841,293.47.

On Tinian, Camacho said, the damage involves 810 power poles, 136 transformers, and 507,015 feet of wires, for a total estimated cost of $5,540,939.64.

This brings the total estimated damage cost to $17,382,233.11 on the power systems of both islands as of last Saturday, said Camacho during the board meeting that was held inside a small CUC room with a damaged ceiling.

On Saipan, power poles that were not damaged totaled 11,297, while poles that were not damaged on Tinian total 1,088, Camacho said.

As for repair costs, as of Oct. 26, CUC’s water division’s initial cost estimate was $212,825 on Saipan, while the wastewater division’s initial cost estimate was $413,250, for a total of $626,075.

As of yesterday morning, Camacho said, 50 percent of Saipan had power and that they expect to get to 100 percent power in the next 60 to 90 days.

On Tinian, Camacho said that CUC is targeting to have 100 percent power before Christmas Day.

Power Plant 1 in Lower Base has an available capacity of 45 megawatts, while the peak load as of last Monday was only 18.1MW, Camacho said.

Power Plant II in Lower Base is offline as it is undergoing inspections and testing, while Power Plant IV in Puerto Rico, which has a capacity of 6.0MW, is offline and remains as a standby station.

Feeder 1 first partial was energized last Oct. 28, Camacho said, giving power to the Commonwealth Health Center and its environs, while power at the Saipan seaport and Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport was restored last Nov. 5 and Nov. 10, respectively.

So far, Camacho said, only Feeder 3 out of nine feeders has 100 percent power, while Feeders 1 and 7 both have 95 percent power.

Feeder 2 has 70 percent power, Feeder 4 has 50 percent, and Kiya I and 2 have 40 percent.

Kiya 3 and 4 feeders remain offline. However, under Kiya 3, Taro Sue to McDonald’s areas have been energized from Feeder 3.

Camacho said that personnel from the Guam Waterworks Authority will arrive on Saipan today, Thursday, to stabilize the water system.

On Tinian, Camacho said, water services is at 100 percent.

On Tinian’s power, Camacho said partial feeder 2 has been online, providing power at the Tinian Health Center since Sunday.

Electricity is back at Tinian Fuel Services and Department of Public Safety since last Monday, and Bank of Guam and Lucky Qiang Market since last Tuesday.

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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