Puerto Rico governor announces privatization of state owned power company

The Puerto Rico power company will be privatized after years of mismanagement.

— -- Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has announced that the bankrupt island's utility company will be privatized.

In a televised statement, Rosello said the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) was a heavy burden on the island's residents.

PREPA "will stop existing as ineffectively as it does today," Rosello said.

Portions of the energy authority will be sold off in the coming days, the governor said.

Puerto Rico was plunged into darkness after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 hurricane.

Rosello called the move a "leap into the modernization of Puerto Rico."

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz criticized the privatization, tweeting in Spanish, "The privatization of PREPA will put the economic development of the country in private hands. The authority will serve other interests."

About one-third of customers on the island remains without power, according to Puerto Rico's government.

PREPA did not have an immediate reaction to the announcement.