Local October 20, 2016 | 9:12 am

Scandal-fraught coal-fired plant loan-cum-debt stalks pension fund

Santo Domingo.- The National Combat ClimateChange Committee, CNLCC, on Wed. said president Danilo Medina’s request forCongress to swap the canceled loan from Brazil state-owned bank, BNDES, forpublic debt "is a tacit admission that the offering of shares in PuntaCatalina power plant failed."

It said the measure further aggravates the loomingthreat that the pension fund would be used to finance the coal-fired plant, "becausethe government is determined to conclude the construction of this project evenif it pushes the country to bankruptcy, including Social Security."

"In fact, the Pensions Superintendence RiskAssessment and Investment Restriction Commission already issued resolution 110and 112 of May 9, which allow disbursing 600 million dollars from the pensionfund to Punta Catalina," said the CNLCC in an emailed statement.

It called the government’s measures as"chain of foolery" for failing to convert the project into naturalgas, "with a drastic reduction in costs, soft financing facilities by themultilateral international banking, unpolluted and with far less carbon dioxideemissions."

"These successive errors of thegovernment shows that the real motivation of Punta Catalina is to balloon thecost by around US$1 billion and…not fix the problems of the electricalsystem.

"It insists with the plant fired by coalin Punta Catalina despite that suiting it for natural gas would be lessexpensive, because it seeks to preserve theovervaluation and protect its main accomplice, which is the Brazilian companythat builds the plants, Odebrecht," the contractor at the center of amajor corruption scandal in that country.

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