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Puerto Rico Board Proposes Third Plan to Restructure $10 Billion Power Company Debt

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Puerto Rico Submits Third Plan to Restructure $10 Billion Power Company Debt

A new plan has been filed to restructure the $10 billion debt owed by Puerto Rico's power company, marking another attempt to resolve the lengthy bankruptcy process. The plan, filed by the federal control board overseeing the territory's finances, aims to reduce the debt of Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority by approximately 80% to around $2.5 billion. If approved by a federal bankruptcy judge, the plan would result in increased power bills for many residents on the island. On average, residential bills would rise by nearly $9 per month, while commercial bills would increase by $35. The plan also includes provisions exempting customers who consume less than 425 kilowatt-hours per month from the new charge. The filing comes after years of negotiations and is backed by companies holding a significant portion of uninsured bonds issued by the power authority. However, challenges from opponents of the plan remain, and its confirmation is expected to occur in January.

Potential Impact of Puerto Rico's Debt Restructuring on New Businesses

The filing of a new plan to restructure Puerto Rico's power company's $10 billion debt could have significant implications for new businesses on the island. If approved, the plan would increase power bills, affecting not only residents but also businesses.

Increased Operational Costs

On average, commercial bills would rise by $35 per month, potentially increasing operational costs for businesses, particularly for those that are energy-intensive. This could squeeze profit margins, especially for startups and small businesses that are typically more sensitive to cost fluctuations.

Exemptions and Opportunities

However, the plan's provision to exempt customers consuming less than 425 kilowatt-hours per month from the new charge could offer some relief. Energy-efficient businesses or those with low energy consumption could potentially avoid the additional charge, turning the situation into an opportunity.
Uncertainty and Risk
The plan's pending approval and the potential challenges from opponents add a layer of uncertainty for businesses. The outcome could impact not only energy costs but also the broader economic environment in Puerto Rico. In conclusion, while the debt restructuring plan presents challenges, it also underscores the importance of strategic planning and adaptability for new businesses navigating this changing landscape.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/puerto-rico-board-submits-third-plan-in-attempt-to-restructure-power-company-debt-of-10-billion
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