Small Montana Firm Lands Biggest Contract To Restore Puerto Rico Power

"For the sprawling effort to restore Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid, the territory’s state-owned utility has turned to a two-year-old company from Montana that had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall.

The company, Whitefish Energy, said last week that it had signed a $300 million contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to repair and reconstruct large portions of the island’s electrical infrastructure. The contract is the biggest yet issued in the troubled relief effort.

Whitefish said Monday that it has 280 workers in the territory, using linemen from across the country, most of them as subcontractors, and that the number grows on average from 10 to 20 people a day. It said it was close to completing infrastructure work that will energize some of the key industrial facilities that are critical to restarting the local economy."

Steven Mufson, Jack Gillum, Aaron C. Davis, and Arelis R. Hernández report for the Washington Post October 23, 2017.

"From Montana to Puerto Rico, a Small Firm Strikes a Powerful Deal" (New York Times)

"$300M Puerto Rico Recovery Contract Awarded to Tiny Utility Company Linked to Major Trump Donor" (Daily Beast)

"Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's Hometown Friend Gets $300 Million Contract To Fix Puerto Rico's Power Grid – Even Though His Company Had Two Employees" (Daily Mail)

"Democrat Urges Probe Of Puerto Rico Power Contract To Zinke Neighbor" (PBS News Hour)

"Puerto Rico To Audit Power Contract For Montana Firm" (BBC News)

"No-Name Firm With Zinke Ties Lands $300M Puerto Rico Power Contract" (New York Post)

Source: Washington Post, 10/25/2017