Governor recommends new Prepa chairman
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has recommended engineer Ricardo L. Ramos to replace Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) Executive Director Javier Quintana
Rosselló recently said “everything is on the table” after Prepa’s restructuring agreement was extended until March and has reiterated his right to change the government boards of public entities to feel “confident” that members execute his administration’s public policy.
The composition of Prepa’s board was changed to include public officials. Its current members were appointed as part of an agreement with the public utility’s creditors.
“We must have the power to put [on the board] the people who are going to effect the changes of this administration,” he said. “They have already shown their public policy was different from what we have proposed. I am protected under Promesa, which states that I have to be responsible for executing the public policy of that entity. If I don’t trust… It has already been shown that the steps they [board members] have taken go against that, for example raising rates […] That goes totally against what we want to do.”
Caribbean Business learned that Prepa’s creditors object the measure that changes the current board to include officials appointed by Rosselló.
The measure, which was approved in the House, proposes that of Prepa’s nine governing board members, two be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, retaining and extending to three the number of public representatives elected by the utility’s customers.
La Fortaleza’s Public Affairs Secretary, Ramón Rosario, also recently said that no agreement with Prepa bondholders could force the government to continue with Prepa’s current governing board.
According to a La Fortaleza press release, Ramos has been a planning, financing, permits and energy infrastructure adviser and has taught engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico.
The engineer has also advised on the development of conventional energy, natural gas, renewable energy, automation and measurement projects.
The release adds that Ramos “knows Prepa’s structure because from 1991 to 1997 he served as an engineer in the Systems Planning and Research Division. During this period, he participated as an engineer in several capital improvement projects and in the establishment of Ecoelectrica’s power purchase and operating agreements [PPOA].”
In addition, he has collaborated from the private sector with Prepa in the “development of large-scale projects such as transmission lines and, more recently, as an adviser to Excelerate Energy, a firm in charge of advising Prepa in the development of the Aguirre Offshore Gas Port.”
“We are confident in the ability of engineer Ramos to lead the Electric Power Authority, in these moments of fiscal challenges and fundamental changes in the public corporation. His experience, enthusiasm and ability to innovate are essential for a positive change in Prepa,” the governor says in the statement.