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Rehabilitation of Tank 103 to start in March 2017

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The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. is set to start rehabilitation work on Tank 103 by March 2017.

During its board meeting last Tuesday, CUC said that work on the project, which falls under stipulated order 2, will commence once CUC’s Engineering Environmental Management Company obtains new Capital Improvement Project grants. Estimates set the amount needed at $3.8 million.

A federal judge has selected Gilbane Federal, a California-based construction company, as CUC’s Engineering and Environmental Management Company. As such, it has the power to expeditiously complete some stalled SO2 projects.

Acting executive director Gary Camacho said the rehabilitation work on Tank 103 comes on the heels of Tank 102’s completion.

“I’m happy, of course. We have a tank facility that is going to protect our environment while helping secure safe and reliable power through a hardened storage facility for many years to come. It’s essential that we keep the power supply ongoing with the required fuel. However, it is as important that our footprint does not impact our lagoon and environment,” he said.

Last March, the U.S. Department of the Interior authorized $730,614 for CUC to proceed with Tank 103 project.

Tank 103 is CUC’s only aboveground storage tank that can hold more than a day’s supply of fuel. Located in Lower Base, the tank was shut down and repaired due to leaks. The leak reportedly contributes to oil contamination at Power Plants 1 and 2 in Lower Base.

On other updates tackled during Tuesday’s board meeting, CUC’s Meter Change Out project was said to be approaching 400 outstanding work orders. It entails CUC crew to go about the island to repair leaks and install replacement meters.

CUC is also currently working on 21 water projects on Saipan and one each for Tinian and Rota. As for wastewater projects, nine are on Saipan while Tinian and Rota currently have none.

“There are no wastewater projects on Tinian and Rota because there are no wastewater systems on Tinian and Rota. There isn’t at the time but that is something CUC is looking at, hopefully, at some point in the future to establish a wastewater system,” said Camacho.

New applications

Chalan Laulau Dormitories, submitted by The Proper Grand (CNMI) LLC, plans to build a staff housing project southeast of Chalan Pale Arnold and Quartermaster Road intersection.

Sugar King Hotel and Dormitories, another proposal from Proper Grand LLC, will build a new three-story business hotel and three new three-story dormitory for staff workers on the former cockfight arena property.

Newly hired deputy executive director, William Gilmore, said, “I believe there have been a lot of work done and due to the groups that have been prioritizing the projects, it’s been working very well. So I don’t doubt where we are on for the list of things we should be doing. However, it would be nice to have a fresh set of new eyes to add some perspective on those projects.”

The fuel pipeline project has one pending deliverables due to CUC. The large soil stockpile produced during the excavation was removed during the second half of October. Removal of aboveground portions of the old pipeline is pending and will be completed by local contractors for CUC.

In addition to SO1 and SO2 projects, CUC is also working on special projects such as the Power Plant 1 engine replacement and expansion.

“CUC is looking to expand its generating capacity at Power Plant 1 and in doing so a consultant, primarily a construction manager, with the expertise of expanding the power plants and installing the engines, is hired as an addition. So hopefully, in line, we would replace engine No. 8 and also expand the power plant to absorb future demand,” Camacho said.

Michael T. Santos | Reporter

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