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By Gemma Q. Casas

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Jan. 5) – The financially troubled Commonwealth Utilities Corp. yesterday paid Mobil Oil Mariana Islands Inc. US$2.1 million for the latest diesel fuel deliveries to its power plants, allaying residents’ fears of another series of power outages.

Mobil’s oil tanker from Singapore delivered more than a million gallons of fuel to CUC.

The next shipment is expected to arrive within the next two weeks or so, Variety was told.

Every day, CUC’s power plants 1 and 4 consume approximately 90,000 gallons of fuel.

Tinian’s power plant is operated by a private firm through a build-operate-transfer scheme. However, that deal requires CUC to provide fuel for Tinian’s power plant, which gets about 12,000 gallons a day from the agency.

Rota’s power plant, which supplies electricity to about 4,000 people, consumes 4,000 gallons of fuel per day.

Just before Christmas, lights went out every two hours for more than a day on Saipan due to CUC’s failure to pay for fuel.

January 5, 2006

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