Puerto Rico cancels power restoration contract with Whitefish Energy

Photo: FEMA

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Whitefish Energy Holdings says it is "very disappointed" that authorities in Puerto Rico have canceled its $300 million contract to help rebuild the U.S. island's electricity system.

The contract had been questioned because the company had only two full-time employees when the contract was awarded and it is based in the Montana hometown of the U.S. interior secretary.

Whitefish spokesman Chris Chiames tells The Associated Press that Sunday's cancellation will only delay efforts to restore power for Puerto Rico, which was hit hard by Hurricane Maria.

Chiames says Whitefish has already brought 350 workers to the island and it expected to have a total of 500 this week.

He says it has completed critical work, including a project that will soon lead to a half million people in San Juan getting power.

Roughly 70 percent of the island remains without power more than a month after Hurricane Maria struck the U.S. territory on Sept. 20.