The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority announced Wednesday the payment of $192.5 million in interest on its power revenue bonds due on Jan. 1, 2017. The public corporation used operational funds to cover the debt payment.
“By making the scheduled interest payment to bondholders, PREPA avoided default and kept in place its agreements with creditors reached in December 2015,” said PREPA Executive Director Javier Quintana.
“Our team continues to work closely with all of our stakeholders to achieve a consensual financial restructuring and to optimize our operations for the benefit of the people of Puerto Rico,” he said.
PREPA and its creditors have been moving toward a comprehensive restructuring of the corporation’s $9 billion in debt since the summer of 2014.
It is currently involved in defending several lawsuits challenging the proposed restructuring, including the PREPA Revitalization Act enacted in early 2016.
On Dec. 20, 2016, the San Juan Superior Court upheld the constitutionality of the PREPA Revitalization Act and overruled the plaintiffs’ — the Electric Industry Workers Union, or UTIER — challenges to the Restructuring Order issued by the Energy Commission and the Restructuring Resolution approved by the Revitalization Corporation. PREPA saw the court’s decision as the first validation of the mandate.
Recently, PREPA also announced an extension of the Restructuring Support Agreement with creditors to March 31, 2017 with a new milestone date of Jan. 31, 2017 for PREPA and the RSA creditors to reach an agreement on revisions to allow for its implementation under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or any other mutually agreed mechanism.
“These actions show the forward momentum of PREPA’s transformation and the willingness of all parties to work together,” said Luis R. Benítez, chairman of PREPA’s Governing Board.
“Our management and employees remain focused on the restructuring work streams along with the CRO team, which will ultimately provide the people of Puerto Rico with a self-sustaining utility that provides clean, safe electricity to its customers,” he said.