Puerto Rico to scrap $300M Whitefish Energy contract; company "v - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Puerto Rico to scrap $300M Whitefish Energy contract; company "very disappointed"

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A storm of controversy has forced Puerto Rico to pull the plug on a deal with Whitefish Energy.

The tiny electrical company with only two full-time employees had been awarded a huge $300 million contract to restore electricity knocked out by Hurricane Maria.

"I have asked the board of the power authority to invoke the cancellation clause in the contract immediately," Puerto Rico Governor Richardo Rosselló said on Sunday.

Gov. Rosselló made the announcement nearly a week after questions were raised about how a small energy company in Montana got a $300 million "no bid" contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico's electrical grid.
Whitefish Energy -- based in a two bedroom house -- is a two-year-old company that has become the center of negative attention, and it was too much for the governor.

"It is interfering with everything and it doesn't go towards the best interest of people of Puerto Rico," Gov. Rosselló said.

Three hours after the governor's surprise announcement, Ricardo Ramos, head of the bankrupt Puerto Rican electrical power authority, announced the contract will be canceled, but only after whitefish complete its current work.
"The contract provides or requires 30 days in notice -- so even if I cancel today it becomes effective in 30 days," Ramos said.

Ramos says that so far, whitefish has been paid nearly $11 million and there's another $9.8 million payment that's pending.

The company -- which has hired more than 350 people to do the work in Puerto Rico -- says it's very disappointed in the decision by the governor to ask that the contract be canceled, adding that it "will only delay what the people of Puerto Rico want and deserve."

If Gov. Rosselló gets his way and the contract is canceled, the governor wants to bring in more power crews from New York and Florida.

Many people have wondered how Whitefish Energy first get in contact with power officials in Puerto Rico. The CEO of Whitefish Energy said that he reached out on Linkedin shortly before Hurricane Maria made landfall,

Whitefish CEO Andy Techmanski said his company has 300 workers on the ground in Puerto Rico and added they will continue any work they are asked to finish.

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