Economy October 17, 2018 | 8:04 am

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Dominican Republic Gov. seeks US’ ‘blessing’ in power plant scandal

US ambassador Robin Bernstein, Manuel Rocha.

Santo Domingo.- The Government seeks Washington’s “blessing” to start the Punta Catalina coal-fired power plants, a facility being built by the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht, convicted in the US and fined US$2.6 billion for bribery.

Outlet El Dia reports that the quest gets a push from the US-based company Xcoal Energy & Resources which has won the tender to supply 462,000 metric tons of the coal that will fuel Punta Catalina in its trial runs.

Moreover, the profile of Xcoal’s representative is telling: Manuel Rocha, who signed the contract Monday, was a former US ambassador to Panama from 2000 to 2002.

He was previously was Commercial Attache in Buenos Aires and also a Political Officer of the US Embassy in Santo Domingo (1983). He has held other diplomatic positions in Cuba, Honduras among other countries of the region.

Locally Danilo Medina’s administration has  come under fire from the Odebrecht US$94.0 million bribe scandal, and alleged ballooned costs in the plant’s construction.

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