2 Aug 2006

CNMI says power cuts will continue

3:42 pm on 2 August 2006

The government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas says periodic power outages will continue until it starts receiving the increased income from a huge rate hike last week.

The government, which is struggling on a number of fronts to cope with an economic crisis, raised the cost of electricity by more than 100 percent.

Its spokesman, Charles Reyes, says until the new rates flow through to the government it is only able buy a limited amount of fuel.

"So in the meantime we are trying to conserve the consumption of fuel and also there is a problem with some of the generators - they are not very efficient, so for that reason we have regular power outages, pretty much on a daily basis. We try to schedule it on a daily basis but sometimes it is out of our control. I mean sometimes an engine breaks down and it needs to be repaired. So you know, we are doing our best."