Local July 20, 2015 | 5:08 pm

Dominican govt. calls blackout threat on US$800M debt ‘blackmail’

Santo Domingo.- The government won’t bow to the power companies’"blackmail" of threatening to shut down their plants if thegovernment fails to pay the US$800 million electricity debt, said the CEO of DominicanRepublic’s State-owned Electric Utility (CDEEE) on Monday.

Ruben Jimenez Bichara said the government will put an endto that ‘blackmail’ once the two coal-fired power plants being built at Punta Catalina,Baní (south) are concluded.

He said that the debt with the power companies includeitems charged at 32% interest. "We’re working tirelessly to create theconditions that will allow the country to get rid of the blackmail to which is periodicallysubjected to and that blackmail will disappear when we finish projects likePunta Catalina and others that are close to conclusion."

“Unfortunate” was Jimenez’s response when asked about Dominicanpower companies association (ADIE) president Marcos Cochón’s warning of “financialblackouts” resulting from the unpaid debt.

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