Puerto Rico Cancels Controversial Whitefish Contract
On Sunday the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority cancelled the highly disputed $300 million contract awarded to Whitefish Energy, a tiny American company tasked with restoring power to the still storm-ravaged island. PREPA spokesperson Carlos Monroig confirmed the news to NPR.
The announcement came hours after Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló demanded the contract's cancellation, amid ongoing local and federal audits.
PREPA's CEO Ricardo Ramos says Whitefish will wrap up some current work before the contract is scrapped, leading to a delay of up to three months before the projects are completed, reports The Associated Press.
When Maria slammed Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm, it leveled an already-fragile infrastructure, essentially wiping out power to the entire island. Almost six weeks later, more than two thirds of customers remain in the dark.
Tapped by PREPA, Whitefish was supposed to help. But questions arose soon after news broke on Oct. 19 that the Montana-based company was chosen over bigger and better known companies vying for the job. When it was hired, 2-year-old Whitefish had just two workers.