The Ministry of Energy and Mines he stuck his face out again escrow from Catalina Point, recently approved by the Chamber of Deputies.
Through a press release, Energía y Minas denied that with the escrow President Luis Abinader’s management intends to privatize the infrastructure or transfer it to some business group, as the Justice and Transparency Foundation (FJT) affirmed this week.
The agency explained that the creation of a escrow for the administration of the thermoelectric plant is due to the interest of the Dominican State being able to participate in the electrical sector by producing and selling energy.
“Because by law a ministry cannot own a company or carry out commercial operations and, aware of the convenience of the Central Catalina Point participate independently in the national electricity market by producing and selling energy, the Government has decided to set up the plant in a escrow whose financial administration will fall to the state bank Banreservas through the trustee of the same name”, he explained.
For Energy and Mines, let Catalina Point be administered by Banreservas, it is not privatizing it since both entities belong to the State.
“Is that a privatization? Does that mean assigning or giving away the asset to private parties? Catalina Point? Catalina Point It has not been put up for sale by the Government, nor are there plans or purposes to do so,” he specified.
Another of the criticisms that the contract of escrow, is that the majority of the members of Technical Committee are from the private electricity sector (Celso José Marranzini Pérez, José Luis Actis, Noel Báez Paredes, George Ángel Reinoso Núñez and John A. De Armas), who, if the contract is approved, will have broad powers to deliberate and approve the actions of the escrow.
On the contrary, Energy and Mines clarified that the members of the committee were not appointed as representatives of any company or business group, but rather as citizens with high professional level and managerial experience.
In addition, it specified that the amount of 2,340.54 million dollars indicated as value of Catalina Point in the contract of escrow, is referential.
“That value is a plain reference number which will have to be confirmed or ruled out by the results of the financial audit on construction costs and seriousness of investments; audit that will begin this month by a prestigious independent auditing firm”.
Regarding the delays in the audit, the agency specified that, since December 2020, three public bidding processes had been launched to hire an auditing firm for Catalina Point.
He points out that these three processes were declared void and a company was recently classified for said audit. “The results of this investigation will be made public in the short term,” he explained.
In the same order, the entity since more than two months ago the North American firm Sargent and Lundi is conducting a technical audit on construction and functionality Catalina Point and has already delivered the first partial report of said investigation. “The investigation will last six months and its results will also be published.”