San Juan, Nov 21 (EFE) .- The Acting Director of the Electric Power Authority (AEE) of Puerto Rico, Justo González, said today that the state-owned company he paid paid Whitefish Energy, a company that won a controversial contract to lift the power line of the island after the passage of Hurricane Maria in September.
"We paid Whitefish," he said. forceful González in statements to the press after holding a meeting in La Fortaleza, the seat of the Executive in San Juan, with members of the Government led by Ricardo Rosselló.
Gonzalez's explanations follow Whitefish Energy's announcement that he suspends his work in Puerto Rico because he owes 83 million dollars, a decision he made known by letter to the AEE.
"We stopped because of the financial situation, the lack of payment for PREPA has exceeded its maximum limit and what we can assume as a business," Andy Techmanski, the director, told CNN executive of Whitefish Energy.
According to the company, the Government of Puerto Rico, through the AEE, owes them an amount slightly above 83 million dollars, 26 of them already audited and approved by the electric company.
González explained that PREPA has received invoices by Whitefish Energy for an amount close to 25 million dollars and that from that the amount has already been paid for 13 million dollars.
"Whitefish Energy has problems with its subcontractors, one of them wanted us to pay him directly," said the new director of the AEE.
González also stressed that as soon as the problems of the line from Aguirre to Aguas Buenas are solved, there will be an advance in the generation of electric power, which today stands at 46.6%.
Techmanski explained that without the aforementioned disbursement, Whitefish Energy can not assume payments to more than 500 contractors. and subcontractors who work for them on the island to lift the power lines.
"It may not be the best business decision to come to work on a bankrupt island," Techmanski lamented.
The Whitefish Energy executive had said that they had been assured that PREPA would receive financial support from Washington through the FEMA agency and that "there was money available" to pay for their work.
The contract signed between the AEE and Whitefish Energy, a company with only two permanent employees and that until now had barely gotten an agreement of just over one million dollars during his career, led to the US Congress. Juan.
The controversy caused the resignation of the former first executive of the AEE, Ricardo Ramos, which according to Rosselló had become a "distraction" in the efforts of recovery that takes place on the island after the passage of hurricanes Irma and María in September.
Rossello had defended Ramos until his resignation last Friday in this controversy to Despite his decision to grant a contract of nearly 300 million dollars to a company with such a short history as Whitefish Energy.