Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said that reasons beyond anyone’s control caused delays with the construction of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s multi-million dollar integrated resort, the Imperial Pacific Resort.
IPI wrote Torres last month requesting an extension on the deadlines set in their lease agreement with the CNMI Lottery Commission.
Torres said they would mostly likely grant IPI’s extension request, adding the casino-hotel operator’s reasons were justifiable. He said he has already instructed the CNMI Lottery Commission chairman to meet and discuss IPI’s request.
“We want to grant and extend IPI’s request for reasons that they cannot avoid. I already asked the Lottery Commission to give [IPI] the extension they needed and they are going to meet to look into the request,” Torres said.
“The Lottery Commission would look into the extension request and what are the requirements that need to be made. It was unfortunate that a typhoon hit us in 2015,” he added.
IPI listed nine reasons in their request for extension with Typhoon Soudelor, the second most intense tropical cyclone in the world in 2015, among the most significant. Soudelor caused severe damage to IPI’s construction site, with a number of heavy equipment becoming inoperable.
Torres said a temporary shortage of construction materials was also a factor. “There were also some materials that are not on island and they have to get cement from Guam. Looking at those factors [including Typhoon Soudelor], an extension is most likely. We want to see [IPI] succeed.”
Torres said it was clear that IPI is working double time in order to meet some of the deadlines, but considerations could be given due to unavoidable circumstances. “It is a project that you see is progressing everyday.”
“You can see construction activity and they have been working extremely hard. They are trying to work 24 hours to meet the deadline.”
Unpredictable ground condition, dewatering issues, air rights agreement for tower cranes, inclement weather, lack of readily available skilled laborers, length of time to execute the public land lease for Garapan, and Mariana Resort’s lease expiration were the other reasons cited by IPI chair Mark A. Brown.