COR3 disburses $147.5M to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid
The Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3) disbursed some $147.5 million under the Working Capital Advance pilot program for the purchase of materials and equipment necessary for the rehabilitation of Puerto Rico’s electrical system.
“This is 25% of the advance under the WCA for the material purchase project for which the Federal Emergency Management Agency obligated more than $590 million,” said COR3 Executive Director Manuel Laboy.
“After processing the disbursement, now the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) will begin the process of acquiring the equipment,” said Laboy.
“As we know, there is a high demand for materials and equipment worldwide and production is not at full capacity, but with this strategy, PREPA is anticipating the needs to advance the reconstruction projects,” added Laboy.
Among the equipment, which includes the project approved by FEMA earlier this year, are: 2,500 miles of transmission lines, more than 300 substations, nearly 200,000 transformers and some 13,400 miles of feeders, among others.
“We’re grateful for the support we continuously receive from COR3 and FEMA to make possible the reconstruction of the electrical system of Puerto Rico,” said Josué Colón, executive director of PREPA.
“This strategy streamlines the development of the projects that we continue to implement to rehabilitate the Authority’s generation and water assets, maintaining the continuity of operations and increasing the reliability and resilience of the electricity generation system every day,” said Colón.
At present, PREPA is developing seven reconstruction projects in the power generation plants located in San Juan, Arecibo, Mayagüez, Salinas and Bayamón, officials said.
Meanwhile, Luma Energy — which handles PREPA’s transmission and distribution work — has 11 repair or replacement projects for poles and lights in the municipalities of Ponce, Caguas, Luquillo, Lajas, Aguada, Maunabo, Arecibo and Mayagüez.
“The modernization of the critical infrastructure of Puerto Rico gives way to the continued expansion of the economic sectors and the diversification of industries, which represent a favorable economic impact for the socioeconomic development of the island,” said Laboy.
“For this reason, at COR3 we will continue implementing initiatives to efficiently streamline the procedures related to the works that transform our infrastructure,” said Laboy.
Meanwhile, FEMA has approved 10 reconstruction projects for generation valued at more than $115 million, the federal agency noted.
There are currently 28 permanent works related to distribution and transmission that amount to more than $105 million and that have the endorsement of the federal entity.
“At FEMA we continue to be committed to rebuilding the electrical grid, which is so important for the proper functioning of the island,” said José Baquero, federal coordinator for FEMA.