2 Aug 2006

Power outages continue to disrupt life in Northern Marianas

10:24 am on 2 August 2006

The ongoing power outages in the Northern Marianas have seen businesses without generators having to either close their offices or endure high temperatures for at least two hours a day.

The government owned Commonwealth Utilities Corporation announced last month that it had no funds to pay for fuel to run its generators, which also need upgrading.

The Saipan Tribune reports a two-hour power outage occurs at least once a day in one area.

Some businesses, including some restaurants, have decided to continue operations despite the lack of power.

The general manager of one restaurant said although the restaurant has a generator, blackouts are costly.

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce earlier criticized the Fitial administration's decision to raise electricity rates by more than 100 percent effective last week.

The group had appealed for a gradual rather than an abrupt rate hike.