WAPA Board Approves Sale of Excess Equipment to Aid Typhoon Stricken Mariana Islands

Elizabeth Armstrong at an April WAPA board meeting.
WAPA Chairwoman Elizabeth Armstrong at a WAPA board meeting.

After having been on the receiving end of vast assistance in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) now has the opportunity to return the favor by helping a natural disaster restoration effort in another U.S. territory. On Thursday, WAPA’s governing board approved the sale of excess transformers and varied material and supplies to assist in the restoration of electrical service to residents of the Northern Mariana Islands. Super Typhoon Yutu devastated the islands of Tinian and Saipan in October 2018.

The governing board’s approval will facilitate the sale of 675 excess transformers at an estimated cost of $1.3 million dollars plus administrative fees. Also approved was the sale of excess material and supplies usually used to redevelop an electric grid, such as pole hardware, conductors, insulators and pot heads.

American Wire Group, a WAPA supply vendor, will purchase the excess materials from the Authority and will provide the materials to the Northern Mariana Islands to aid in the restoration there. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the sale of the materials and transformers because the assets were initially purchased by WAPA and reimbursed by the federal government during the post-hurricane restoration. The proceeds from the sale of the excess equipment will be returned to FEMA.

The board also approved the sale of additional excess transformers, with a $2.5 million cap on all transformer sales.

Board members in attendance included: Chairwoman Elizabeth Armstrong, Vice Chairman Hubert Turnbull, Secretary Juanita Young, Noel Loftus, Gerald T. Groner Esq. and Cheryl Boynes Jackson. Commissioners Devin Carrington and Nelson Petty Jr. and Director Marvin Pickering were excused.