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17 NOV 17 14:45 ET

(CNN) — The head of Puerto Rico’s embattled power authority stepped down Friday, nearly two months after Hurricane Maria left much of the island without electricity.

Ricardo Ramos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA, submitted his resignation to the bankrupt utility’s board. It’s effective Friday, according to PREPA.

The resignation comes days after Puerto Rico’s governor celebrated that power generation had reached 50% capacity, only to see an outage leave parts of San Juan without power for hours. It was the second outage in as many weeks.

PREPA’s statement did not say why Ramos, who took over the utility last year, was stepping down. It said he would offer additional information later Friday on Twitter.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló posted articles on Twitter about an event he attended in which he told reporters that Ramos’ tenure at PREPA had become “unsustainable.”

In a statement on Twitter, Rosselló did not give a reason for Ramos’ departure. He said he was recommending the appointment of engineer Justo Gonzalez as interim director in order to begin the search for Ramos’ replacement.

Rosselló has promised that 95% of the island will have power by December 15.

On Friday, power generation was 44.7% of capacity, according to PREPA. The governor had said he expected to reach 80% by the end of November.

But it’s unclear how many homes and businesses that power is reaching. And it’s uncertain how many of the US territory’s roughly 3.4 million citizens remain without power as they struggle through Maria’s aftermath.

PREPA faced widespread criticism for signing a $300 million contract to restore power with Whitefish Energy, a small Montana-based firm with only two employees at the time of the contract.

The state-owned utility company agreed to cancel the deal shortly afterward amid public outcry.

“I chose to contract with Whitefish because my priority was securing the immediate assistance that we needed to begin restoring power as quickly as possible to our most critical customers,” Ramos said in prepared testimony this week at a Senate hearing.

Joaquin Villamil, chairman and CEO of Estudios Tecnicos, an economic consulting firm in San Juan, said Ramos inherited a power company in dire financial straits and plagued by an outdated transmission network.

“Mr. Ramos was … a very competent technician, but that does not mean he was a very competent administrator unfortunately,” Villamil told CNN.

“He came into a situation which was almost impossible for any one person to deal successfully with, and then the hurricane made it all the worse.”

The island’s emergency management director resigned one week ago as Puerto Rico slowly recovers from the devastating hurricane.

In announcing the resignation of Abner Gómez, Rosselló praised the work of his emergency management chief following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which both hit in September.

The emergency management director came under fire after the island’s El Nuevo Dia newspaper reported he took a two-week vacation shortly after Maria made landfall on September 20.

The-CNN-Wire
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