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News Link • Puerto Rico


•, Kate Aronoff

THE BOARD THAT oversees Puerto Rico's finances has taken its most conspicuous step toward privatizing the island's power grid, a long sought-after prize that has been put on a plate by Hurricane Maria.

The federally appointed control board announced that it intends to putthe Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or Prepa — the island's sole, beleaguered power utility — under the direction of an emergency manager.

That manager will be Noel Zamot, who will become Prepa's "chief transformation officer." Zamot, who is Puerto Rican, is a known entity to the control board. It appointed him this summer to serve on its executive committee as the revitalization coordinator. His role mainly involved attracting private investment under Title V of PROMESA, a provision allowing for an expedited social and environmental review of major infrastructure projects. Since that time, he's been in charge of something called the Critical Projects Process, soliciting proposals from a slew of private actors. As of mid-September, Zamot had fielded 12 proposals according to his Twitter, many of which have to do with energy infrastructure. 

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