MARIANAS UTILITY SEEKS ALTERNATE ENERGY PRODUCERS

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By Raymond A. Martinez

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Feb. 1, 2008) – The Commonwealth Utility Corporation is willing to consider renewable energy proposals from any interested company or agency, local or off-island, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Pamela A. Mathis, CUC spokeswoman, said on Wednesday that they are accepting applications from foreign energy firms, agencies, and other companies interested in engaging in a long-term project with the utilities agency.

"What we are saying is that if you build a power system, which does not rely on fossil fuels, we’re going to buy that electricity from you in time," she said.

CUC seeks a long-term solution to the current high cost of producing electricity, Mathis said.

The agency, she added, wants the "best, most reliable product at the best possible price."

According to Mathis, CUC is looking for competitive proposals from interested parties that will provide for all costs, materials, labor and equipment in the design, supply, installation, commissioning, operation and ownership of renewable electricity generation facilities on Saipan, Rota and Tinian.

She said the "process of ordering a generator and moving it to an island and building" the facilities will take a long time.

Still, she added, there are now some companies that have submitted their project proposals, "and we hope that more companies will also do so."

She said CUC believes that local market conditions offer highly attractive opportunities for renewable power suppliers.

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