16 Sep 2004

Marshalls sees bitter dispute between power company and tuna processor

2:43 pm on 16 September 2004

There has been a strong disagreement in the Marshall Islands between the power supplier and tuna processing plant.

The Marshalls Energy Company cut power to the PMO processing plant over an outstanding power bill of 130,000 US dollars.

PMO has been closed for two weeks because of financial problems but still holds 930 tonnes of frozen fish for export to American Samoa.

The dispute has been taken to court, with the judge admonishing the two sides to calm down.

The power company's lawyer accused PMO of being a failing business trying to milk the country while PMO's lawyer warned that it would lose a million dollars if it failed to get the power back.

PMO is the biggest private sector employer in the Marshall Islands and has 700 workers.