Local August 8, 2012 | 11:01 am

Energy chief admits US$786.8M debt as sectors eye change after August 16

Santo Domingo.- The CEO of the State-owned Electric utility (CDEEE) on Tuesday acknowledged that the US$786.8 million debt with the power companies is high, but affirmed it would be resolved and only awaits the funds from the US$500.0 million bond.

Celso Marranzini’s affirmation is the latest statement in what sectors call an increased presence in the media, with an eye on his possible substation by incoming president Danilo Medina after August 16.

The energy chief said contrary to what many might think, the electricity sector has been a guarantor of the country’s macroeconomic stability, but complained of the Finance Ministry’s alleged lack of support and understanding.

He said despite the more than RD$5.4 billion collected last month, more than US$33.0 million had to set apart just for last year’s commitments, and which would’ve formed part of the public debt, but that didn’t happen.

He said the contribution to macroeconomic balance is expressed in significantly lower operating expenses, changes in the energy matrix and the implementation of changes and fulfillment of goals, thanks to which, he affirms, the country has received more than US$700.0 million from international organizations that recognize the Dominican electricity sector’s progress.

"Here you have to see the management of the electricity sector in the midst of a crisis in oil prices. If oil cost US$80.0 we wouldn’t need subsidies," he said.

Marranzini said as the business grows and more electricity is supplied, that level of debt will increase, which in his view is always proportional to the sector’s performance.

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