CNMI Utility Director Corrects Infrastructure Improvement Cost Estimate

CUC needs 'only' $125 million, not $321 million as erroneously reported

By Ferdie De La Torre 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Sept. 23, 2016) – The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. needs an estimated $124.7 million and not $321 million for its infrastructure replacement and improvement project for Saipan.

CUC acting executive director Gary P. Camacho disclosed the correct figure during yesterday’s CUC board meeting.

Asked about the error after the board meeting, Camacho said some numbers were inputted incorrectly.

“We corrected and obviously it’s much lower,” said the acting executive director.

The $321 million figure was contained in CUC’s first report submitted recently to Senate Public Utilities, Transportation, and Communications committee chair Sen. Sixto K. Igisomar (R-Saipan).

Camacho submitted the report in response to Igisomar’s Senate Resolution 19-48 that requests the CUC and the Department of Public Works to submit its physical development plans on infrastructure projects in the Third Senatorial District.

According to the corrected CUC report obtained by Saipan Tribune, the power generation expansion plan is estimated at $61,158,672, while all proposed projects for Saipan’s water system’s estimated cost for Fiscal Year 2017 and FY 2018 is $34,940,000 and $28,650,000 respectively, or for a total of $63,590,000.

This brings to a grand total estimate cost of $124,748,672 for the power generation expansion and proposed Saipan water system projects.

The first CUC report estimated the power generation expansion plan at $61,158,672, while the cost for all proposed projects for Saipan’s water system is estimated at $259,850,000. This brings to a total estimated cost of $321,008,672.

The first report estimated the cost for all proposed projects for Saipan’s water system at $259.9 million instead of only $63.4 million is due to errors in computation in all but one in the descriptions of the projects. Only the estimate in the description work of installing working meters on all service connections at $500,000 is correct.

The corrected report estimated the cost for leak detection and repair at $15,140,000 instead of $15,640,000 in the first report; for drilling new wells and pump inventory the cost is $4,100,000 instead of $39,380,000; for Lower Base sewer the cost is $2,500,000 instead of $22,240,000; for Abandon Isley Booster Stations the cost is $2,700,000 instead of $24,940,000; for Isley/As Perdido transmission main replacement the cost is $3,500,000 instead of $28,440,000.

The corrected reported estimated the cost for minor upgrades at $3 million instead of $31,440,000; for San Roque distribution main modifications the cost is $650,000 instead of $32,090,000; for tank meters the cost is $200,000 instead of $32,290,000; for evaluating the impact of commercial developments on infrastructure the cost is $600,000 instead of $32,890,000.

The corrected report also contains other descriptions that the first report does not have.

The corrected report includes estimated cost of $25 million to replace old deteriorated pipes, $1,500,000 for SCADA; and $4 million to replace the Dandan reservoir.

Saipan Tribune
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