15 Jul 2011

US $2.26M to tap geothermal, help economy

11:06 am on 15 July 2011

The US Office of Insular Affairs has given a $US2.26 million grant to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The majority of the money will be used to explore the potential of geothermal energy, while a million dollars will go towards the ailing CNMI economy.

The announcement comes a day after the Commonwealth learned its economy shrunk by an average of 16 percent in 2008 and 2009.

The Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs, Tony Babauta, says the grant is a good start in the revitalisation of the CNMI and he sees agriculture as a potential industry that could thrive.