Concerns have been raised after the Puerto Rican authorities submitted a bid for Amazon’s HQ2 on Friday. One of the primary concerns is the lack of electricity which had affected the Island since last month after the effects of Hurricane Maria.
The challenge has seen Puerto Rico having an outside chance of winning with 238 cities and regions in North America submitting their bids also. In terms of amenities, these cities and regions have a higher chance of winning.
This will not deter Puerto Rico as they have given Amazon the opportunity to have and operate their own energy grid. This will allow the company to enjoy steady electricity and not be affected by the Island’s rather chaotic energy supply.
During a telephone interview, Manuel Laboy who is the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce for the country stated that individual energy generation is the reason why they have chosen the province of Ceiba which has the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Station as the location for the company’s second headquarters. According to him, the base supplies its own energy and is not affected by the activities of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. Making the offer even more suitable for Amazon, Laboy said they are planning to expand the base, with solar and battery-based generation touted to be possible additions.
Hurricane Maria has affected the amenities found on the island and having the headquarters situated there will rapidly help in their recovery situation. With over $5 billion to be spent in construction and over 50,000 high paying jobs on the table, Puerto Rico will deeply benefit from Amazon if they eventually win the race.
During the phone interview, Laboy said “We know we are the underdog. But I think that the proposal that we put together is worth a look.” He further noted that Amazon would benefit from their tax rates, I really see it as very hard for any other jurisdiction to compete in that criteria,” Laboy said.
The time is still long for Amazon to make its decision but Puerto Rico had already admitted that they are the underdogs in this race. It will be something special if they ended up as eventual winners.