Judge grants $300M loan for Puerto Rico power com­pany

South Florida Times - - CARIBBEAN - By DAN­ICA COTO As­so­ci­ated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A fed­eral judge on Mon­day ap­proved a $300 mil­lion loan for Puerto Rico's power com­pany that of­fi­cials say will help keep the trou­bled agency oper­at­ing un­til late March.

The rul­ing comes just days af­ter the judge had re­jected an ini­tial $1 bil­lion loan re­quest made by a fed­eral con­trol board over­see­ing the U.S. ter­ri­tory's fi­nances. The judge had said of­fi­cials did not pro­vide suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence prov­ing Puerto Rico's Elec­tric Power Au­thor­ity needed the money, so the board sub­mit­ted a re­vised re­quest for $300 mil­lion on Fri­day.

Hours be­fore the judge ap­proved the re­quest, Gov. Ri­cardo Ros­sello main­tained that the com­pany still needed a $1 bil­lion loan to keep oper­at­ing in the months ahead.

“There's no money,'' he said. “We're in a pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion.''

Nei­ther the board nor gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials im­me­di­ately re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment af­ter the loan was ap­proved. The board said in a pre­vi­ous fil­ing that it plans to re­quest more loans in up­com­ing weeks.

The ini­tial $300 mil­lion would come out of the gov­ern­ment's gen­eral fund, but of­fi­cials needed per­mis­sion from the court to do so given that the is­land is un­der­go­ing a

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF BOND BUYER

Puerto Rico's Elec­tric Power Au­thor­ity

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