Puerto Rico power utility signs $300 million contract with Whitefish Energy
SAN JUAN – The bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (Prepa) board has ratified an agreement with Whitefish Energy for $300 million to restore the island’s electric grid, which was destroyed by hurricanes Irma and Maria last month.
Whitefish made the announcement Thursday via a release and social media posts. Prepa spokeswoman Odalys de Jesús confirmed the information, noting that the maximum amount of the contract is $300 million.
The company says it has been working for Prepa since Sept. 26, repairing and reconstructing electrical transmission infrastructure. It already has 300 employees and subcontractors working in Puerto Rico and is planning to mobilize 700 more, according to the company, which provides daily updates of its work via its social media pages.
“Working side by side with the engineering team of Prepa, Whitefish Energy has already repaired several miles of key transmission and distribution lines,” its statement reads.
The contract had been criticized because of Whitefish’s alleged inexperience with the kind of work needed on the storm-ravaged island.
Prepa’s executive director, Ricardo Ramos, defended the contract Wednesday, saying he was very satisfied with the company’s work. Prepa filed for bankruptcy earlier this year to restructure its $9 billion debt after rejecting an agreement that had already been reached with a majority of its creditors.