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NGS Owners Balk at Extension?

NGS Owners Balk at Extension?
June 15
10:30 2017

July 1st; that’s apparently it!

According to the Salt River Project, one of the owners of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), have said “No” to a request from the Navajo Nation Council for an extension for their decision on the lease agreement. The agreement is aimed at keeping NGS open for at least another two and a half years. But July 1st is the deadline for Council’s decision, and the owners of the plant are apparently not budging on that deadline.

The agreement, which is apparently 800-pages long, has been going through four Council committees, prior to being heard by the entire Council. It’s been taking time, and the full council still doesn’t have it in their hands.

The NGS owners approved the agreement weeks ago.

The lease agreement, as written, would mean the plant, which has been generating electricity for more than forty years, could remain open until the end of 2019. By that time new owners might step forward and keep it open into the next decade.

But first the agreement must be approved. But apparently, if it’s not approved by July 1st, that will be the end of the ballgame. The plant would reportedly close at the end of this year and the dismantlement would commence.

A thousand jobs are at stake, including jobs at the Kayenta mine. Most of the workers at NGS and at the mine are Native American people.

In a release exclusively sent to Lake Powell Communications, a spokesman for SRP said:

“Yes, SRP and the NGS owners were asked once again at Wednesday’s Navajo Nation Council workshop to extend the deadline for the replacement lease. Once again, the answer was no. We’ve told the Navajo Nation Council numerous times that July 1 is a hard deadline, and that has been communicated several times since the NGS owners voted in February to not extend the NGS lease because of financial considerations. This re[placement lease agreement would allow the plant to continue to run up to its Dec. 22, 2019, closure date; any delay could jeopardize the agreement and force a decision to cease operation no later than the end of 2017.

Remember that the proposed replacement lease for NGS is a negotiated agreement by SRP, the NGS owners and the Navajo Nation — and agreed to by all parties.  This measure would preserve, for almost three years, continued employment at the plant, additional revenues for the Nation and Hopi Tribe, and the potential for others the Nation might choose to operate the plant beyond 2019 – although the current non-governmental owners do not intend to be participants at this time.”

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