November 26, 2020

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a fragmented privatization – Clarity

By Cándida Cotto / CLARIDAD

[email protected]

After the study was released Is Puerto Rico's energy future rigged? Analysis of the new $ 1.5 billion New Fortress-AEE agreement, carried out by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), and the organization Cambio, the engineer and president of Cambio, Ingrid Vilá Biaggi, confirmed to CLARITY questions that the report would be sending to the pertinent agencies and entities to request that an official investigation into the transaction be initiated.

These agencies include the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (NEPR), on which the report It also raises questions regarding its procedure for authorizing the project. Vilá Biaggi reported that the report would be sent to them to also evaluate the findings and determine the actions they can take, which could well include the revocation of the approvals granted or carry out additional investigations.

In light of the fact that the report proposes that PREPA has a fragmented approach by project and that the process with NFE can be repeated in the privatization process, the defender of renewable energy affirmed that the privatizers are interested in securing profits, "and what we are seeing are interests private submitting unsolicited proposals to PREPA. ”

When asked if the PRI adjusts to privatization, he indicated that the PIR that the Authority presented to the Energy Bureau contemplates the private investment of some of these fragmented projects. But the PIR, for example, did not evaluate this San Juan 5 and 6 project, as it was presented as a “decision made” by PREPA. “And we already see that it was a decision that was made without having minimum evaluations of desirability and convenience. This is one of the great objections that we presented in the PIR, since the San Juan 5 and 6 project was incorporated without evaluating its impact or its cost-benefit for the country. ”

Regarding the investment that the PREPA in infrastructure and then giving way to privatization, brought to the attention that the Authority is not investing in infrastructure or its maintenance. "You are reacting to private proposals whose purpose is profit, not the public interest. So we ended up with projects like San Juan 5, 6, which perpetuate dependence on fossil fuels instead of considering more sustainable alternatives such as distributed energy using photovoltaic systems on roofs. ”

The engineer Vilá Biaggi also refuted the public statements by the executive director of PREPA, José Ortiz, justifying the project and even detracting from the researchers. He denied that several of the arguments set forth in the report are the same ones that a bidder raised in litigation to contest the contracting.

On this point, he defended that the evidence they presented and the arguments presented have not been evaluated by any forum. judicial, in addition to that the investigation included the revision of thousands of pages of documents obtained after a demand of mandamus filed by Cambio and IEEFA for PREPA to provide it with public documents, which it delivered after nine months of litigation.

The activist vigorously contested statements by Ortiz that they had “brought natural gas to San Juan without breaking the center of the island with the Greenway or making a fuss in the south. Vilá Biaggi recalled: “Ortiz tries to distance himself from the so-called Greenway, when it was under his command at PREPA that the gas pipeline was promoted. Both the gas pipeline and the Aguirre Offshore Gasport were rejected by the people. Now he insists on natural gas projects like the one in San Juan, which continue to commit the country with fossil fuels and expose the surrounding communities to risks, which have not even been consulted. ”

For his part, the president Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, of the Union of Workers in the Electricity and Irrigation Industry (UTIER), also announced via Twitter that the Union requested by means of a letter to the Prosecutor of the Federal Court to investigate the award of said contract. [19659012] (function (d, s, id) {var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName (s) [0]; if (d.getElementById (id)) return; js = d.createElement (s); = id; js.src = ''; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore (js, fjs);} (document, ' script ',' facebook-jssdk '));

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