SAN JUAN —
The top of Puerto Rico’s energy firm stated Sunday the company will cancel its $300 million contract with Whitefish Power Holdings amid elevated scrutiny of the tiny Montana firm’s position in restoring the island’s energy system following Hurricane Maria.
The announcement by Ricardo Ramos got here hours after Gov. Ricardo Rossello urged the corporate to scrap the deal.
It is an unlimited distraction,” Ramos stated of the controversy over the contract. “This was negatively impacting the work we’re already doing.”
The present work by Whitefish brigades won’t be affected by the cancellation, and that work might be accomplished in November, Ramos stated, including that the cancellation will delay work by a few months whereas the federal government finds new corporations to assist restore energy to the island.
Roughly 70 % of the island stays with out energy greater than a month after Hurricane Maria struck the U.S. territory on Sept. 20 as a Class four storm with winds of as much as 154 mph (245 kph).
The cancellation isn’t official till accredited by the corporate board. Ramos stated it might take impact 30 days after that.
Ramos stated the corporate already has paid the Montana-based mostly firm $10.9 million to convey its brigades and heavy gear to Puerto Rico and has a $9.eight million cost pending for work achieved to date
Ramos stated that cancellation of the contract won’t result in a penalty, however it’s possible the federal government can pay no less than $eleven million for the corporate to go house early, together with all prices incurred a month after the cancellation.
Federal investigators have been making an attempt to research the contract awarded to the small firm from Inside Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown and the deal is being audited on the native and federal degree.
Ramos stated the corporate contacted Puerto Rico’s Electrical Energy Authority two days earlier than the storm hit, at a time when it was turning into clear the hurricane might trigger large injury.
Ramos earlier stated he had spoken with a minimum of 5 different corporations that demanded charges just like these of Whitefish, but in addition needed a down cost the company didn’t have.
He stated Sunday he hadn’t consulted with anybody else about signing the deal and did not notify the governor’s workplace for every week. He once more praised the corporate’s work.
“They’re doing a superb job,” he stated.
“There’s nothing unlawful right here … Of that, we’re positive,” he stated, including that he welcomes a federal investigation. “”The method was achieved in response to the regulation.”
Ramos additionally has stated the Federal…