Emergency funds disbursed to Puerto Rico power utility
SAN JUAN — Gerardo Portela, the executive director of Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (Fafaa), announced Friday that the local Treasury Department has provided an emergency loan to the Electric Power Authority (Prepa) for the utility to continue running.
Portela said the transaction was completed after a process that included the Legislative Assembly’s passage of Joint Resolution 16, as well as the authorization of U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain and the island’s fiscal oversight board.
“With this loan, Prepa has access to $300 million, which will help bring short-term liquidity to the public corporation so it can continue operating,” Portela said.
The government adviser explained that, due to Prepa’s liquidity needs, other measures are needed to achieve financial stability at the public utility, such as federal aid that the U.S. Treasury has yet to disburse, savings measures and other loans.
Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado said the loan can be used in areas directly linked to the electrical grid’s restoration. These include payroll, purchasing fuel and other operational expenses to ensure Prepa operations.
“The funds that the public corporation will receive represent a significant step to continue with Puerto Rico’s recovery after Hurricane Maria. This loan ensures that a critical service for Puerto Rico, as electric power is, continues,” Maldonado said.
Portela added that negotiations with the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Emergency Management Agency continue for Puerto Rico to gain access to congressionally approved funds under the Community Disaster Loan Program.