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Two energy companies investigated for contracts with Puerto Rico

Two energy companies investigated for contracts with Puerto Rico

The controversial firm awarded a massive contract to restore much-needed electricity to Puerto Rico was charging more than $300 an hour per lineman but paying its workers just a fraction of that, according to a report.

"The rates in the contract were fairly negotiated between Prepa and the company and were based on the mutual knowledge about the difficulty of the work and associated risks", Chiames told the Times. Industry pushes back on Perry grid plan GOP chairman has "more questions" about Puerto Rico's Whitefish Energy contract The SECURE American Energy Act only endangers public lands MORE (R-Utah), chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, said the Whitefish documents demonstrate deep-seated problems.

WFLA reached out to Whitefish Energy. Documents indicate that Whitefish would still keep one dollar of every two it billed Prepa, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Mammoth Energy has 250 linemen in Puerto Rico rebuilding the power lines at the rate of $4,000 each per day.

He also asserted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) helped PREPA prepare the Whitefish contract to be compliant with federal rules, something that FEMA has forcefully denied. As part of this contract revision, PREPA required Whitefish to develop one rate for each labor category that would apply to all subcontractors (from APPA utilities to union shops). Since each subcontractor has different contracted rates with Whitefish, the overall margin can not be determined until the final work is performed for each firm.

Whitefish spokesman Chris Chiames defended its costs to the newspaper, explaining that "simply looking at the rate differential does not take into account Whitefish's overhead costs" built into the rate.

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The Times spoke to six electrical workers from Kissimmee, Fla., who are now working on bringing electricity back to the island. This, combined with PREPA's failure to maintain its right of ways, meant that the scope of work facing Whitefish was unprecedented, as acknowledged by the U.S. Government.

The second hurricane, Maria, destroyed Puerto Rico's aging power grid.

The documents show that PREPA lawyers provided guidance on how the contract should be constructed, including termination, payment, and bonding recommendations-which were not reflected in the final contract signed by PREPA and Whitefish. According to energy experts, the pay was high, especially for work in an area struck by a natural disaster.

Despite the seemingly exorbitant charges, linemen cited in the report received more normal amounts such as $42, 63 or $100 per hour. Additional we have had to offer a premium rate on top of that for labor to leave the overtime projects they are on at home and to and leave their families.

The cancelled contract runs through November, and then a new company is expected to take over.


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