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FEMA approves nearly $1.2M cogeneration project for Menonita Medical Center

The executive director of Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3), Manuel Laboy, announced that the agency has received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a cogeneration project for the Menonita Medical Center in Cayey. 

The project aims to strengthen the institution’s ability to provide uninterrupted medical services in the event of an emergency or basic service disruption.

The investment in these systems will be financed through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which has allocated $1,170,000 for the first phase of the project, covering costs such as engineering, architecture and studies. The total estimated investment for the project is $11.5 million, as specified by the federal agency.

“This is a critical project for a medical facility that serves thousands of residents in remote communities that have been severely affected during emergencies,” Laboy said. “It fulfills FEMA’s commitment and the Gov. Pedro Pierluisi administration’s commitment to strengthen the resilience of medical facilities, which represent our first line of response before, during and after a disaster.”

The project proposed by the Menonita Health System involves the acquisition and installation of a backup combined heat and power system, as well as a water treatment and storage facility. 

The proposed systems include generators with a 2-megawatt capacity, a heat recovery system for steam and hot water production, and an absorption cooling system. In addition, a proposed water system, featuring a 100,000-gallon storage tank and a 115,000-gallons-per-day treatment plant, aims to significantly increase the facility’s ability to ensure an uninterrupted supply.

“We greatly appreciate the allocation of these funds,” said Ricardo Hernández-Rivera, the executive director of the Menonita Health System. “We will use them with the urgency that these projects require. This is another step in our plan to continue strengthening our hospital facilities as top-notch facilities with modern, robust and reliable infrastructure to guarantee the services we provide to our patients’ day by day in the face of emergency events such as the recent hurricanes. This has been our experience at the Menonita Hospital in Caguas, where we have had a similar system for the past four years.”

FEMA’s news release concluded with José Baquero, FEMA’s federal disaster recovery coordinator, adding that the “water and energy support equipment that we approved through these mitigation funds is of utmost importance to make residents of Cayey and neighboring towns feel safer. These systems ensure resilient medical facilities and enable health care professionals to attend to their patients without interruptions in the event of future weather events.”

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