US litigation compounds Dominican Republic’s energy woes
Santo Domingo.- The Govt. on Tues. announced that it’s preparing a call for tenders for new power plants, to guarantee the country’s long-term energy supply.
The announcement comes just two years after the Govt. discarded offers by at least two US-based companies to build natural gas-fired power plants without the need for financing guarantees.
State-owned Electric Utility (CDEEE) CEO Rubén Jimenez Bichara said that each year the demand grows as much as130 megawatts, so they expect to conclude the bidding rules within 60 days so that interested international companies can bid on time and see if their power platns can be finished “at least by 2022.”
He said energy projects on natural gas will be the priority in the future.
The dispute with the conglomerate Odebrecht and the CDEEE on the former’s demand of an additional US$708.0 million to continue construction of the Punta Catalina power plant will be decided in a New York court, Jimenez said.
He said there’s still no date set to start the international arbitration. “This is a process that is extended and the time will come when the court will take action and there will be arguments from both sides so that in the end a decision can come out.”
The official reiterated that the litigation doesn’t halt the plant’s completion, and affirmed it will be operational this year as scheduled.
“The important thing is that we can give the country a project like that, because it’s already an emergency in which it is working for the benefit of the Dominican people,” he said.