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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

UTIER looks to nullify Genera PR contract in court


Fortress Energy subsidiary Genera PR was selected to operate, maintain and eventually decommission the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s aging power-generation assets through a 10-year agreement established via a public-private partnership. The 100-day transition period ends June 30.

By The Star Staff


The Electrical Industry and Irrigation Workers Union (UTIER by its Spanish acronym) plans to go to court to nullify the Genera PR contract for violating the law and public order of Puerto Rico.


The union plans to hold a news conference today to provide details of the lawsuit.


New Fortress Energy subsidiary Genera PR was selected to operate, maintain and eventually decommission the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA) aging power-generation assets, through a 10-year agreement established via a public-private partnership (P3). The 100-day transition period ends June 30.


Through the P3, Genera PR will receive $22.5 million annually over five years and could receive bonuses or incentives of up to $100 million, pending on whether consumer savings are achieved. The annual payments will be reduced after the first five years of the contract, depending on the number of decommissioned power plants, Public-Private Partnership Authority Executive Director Fermín Fontanés Gómez said.


Based in San Juan, Genera PR was founded by New Fortress Energy as a power and energy service provider to support the island’s 12 energy facilities. Under the agreement, Genera PR will “operate, maintain, decommission and modernize the PREPA-owned thermal power generation system of approximately 3,600 [megawatts] after a mobilization period,” the company said in a news release. In this role, Genera PR will manage the operating budget, fuel contracts and federal funds for the generation fleet on behalf of PREPA, the company added.


New York-based New Fortress Energy operates power generation facilities in such countries as Angola and Nicaragua. In Puerto Rico, it already has a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal that supplies fuel to units 5 and 6 of the San Juan Central power complex.


Last June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the company’s San Juan terminal, which began construction in 2019, had not received the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s go-ahead, specifically regarding a pipe transporting LNG from a floating storage unit in San Juan Harbor to the San Juan plant, which the agency deemed to be a pipeline under the Natural Gas Act. Thus the company was ordered to undergo an agency review.


Previously, UTIER has unsuccessfully sued to nullify the P3 contract awarded to LUMA Energy to operate PREPA’s transmission and distribution system.

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