Written by GBN STAFF
Saturday, November 05, 2011
GUAM – From performance reports of publicly traded corporations to the latest happenings at local upstarts and every size company in between, Guam Buildup News presents a weekly roundup of notable news for the island's business community.
Government of Guam $244 Million Bond
The Government of Guam went to market recently seeking to sell $244 million in bonds and this week achieved its highest ever credit rating.
Guam scored an "A minus" with Fitch Ratings and an "A" with Standard & Poor's. Both agencies signaled the bond market that Guam's credit outlook is "stable."
The bonds, designed to enable GovGuam to pay overdue tax refunds and cost of living allowances, are secured by a lien on 3 percent of the 4 percent business privilege tax levied on goods and services.
Fitch reported that the bonds are expected to sell via negotiation on Nov. 15. This bodes well for issuing tax refunds before Christmas, a timely cash infusion for the local economy, according to Guam Governor Eddie Calvo, who pursued the bond plan.
In explaining its confident outlook, Fitch Ratings said: "[Guam's] current administration is taking steps to achieve structural balance in the budget including a hiring freeze, reductions in the use of electricity and vehicles, a rescinding of across-the-board pay increases, 3% budget retention for all agencies and other cost reductions."
The borrowing is expected to cover $198 million in tax refunds and $20 million in cost of living allowance settlements for GovGuam retirees, Fitch said. There are also amounts owed to the retirement system for the Guam Department of Education and Guam Memorial Hospital Authority.
The Bank of Guam is acting as a trustee for the bond.
GPA Renewable Energy Contracts
Solar and wind energy will make their way into Guam's public electricity grid beginning in 2013 (solar) and 2015 (wind) now that the Guam Power Authority has contracted two renewable energy suppliers.
GPA has awarded a $198.5 million contract to Quantum Guam Power, a subsidiary of Houston, Texas-based Quantum Utility Generation LLC, for a 20-megawatt solar plant. GPA has also signed a $95.1 million contract with Pacific Green Resources, LLC for a 10-megawatt wind farm.
QGP's solar facility would deliver over 954,000 megawatt-hours over 25 years, beginning in June 2013. PGR's wind farm would supply just over 380,000 megawatt-hours over 20 years from Jan. 2015.
GPA first announced its selection of both firms in September, but only recently got the green light to award the contracts from the Consolidated Commission on Utilities.
Speaking of renewable energy, the joint U.S. military forces on Guam stood out at this year's Energy Champion awards hosted by the Guam Energy Office. Joint Region Marianas was singled out for the honor for its commitment to pursuing energy efficiency, conservation and investments in renewable energy technologies.
As part of the U.S. Navy's goal to meet 50 percent of its energy needs through alternative sources by 2020, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Marianas is working with local and federal partners to access funding for cost-effective technologies, NAVFAC said.
As examples, the Navy converted 318 streetlights to efficient induction lighting; playgrounds and sidewalks on Naval Base Guam are powered by solar lights; and solar panel arrays are tied to the main electrical grid, NAVFAC said.
USS Frank Cable Contract
The Navy's Military Sealift Command awarded a $20.1 million contract for the overhaul and dry-dock maintenance of the USS Frank Cable, a 643-foot, Guam-based submarine tender vessel, to Vigor Marine, LLC of Portland, Oregon.
The overhaul will include replacing switchboards and the ship's electrical power control panel, replacing LP turbine rotors and steel, installing fuel oil overflow headers, and conducting machinery and habitability overhauls and repairs.
Work on the Frank Cable, which supplies and supports submarines, will take place in Oregon and is expected to be complete by June or July 2012.
Black Construction Corporation Award
A runway paving job at Andersen Air Force Base nabbed a "Gold Award" for Guam's Black Construction Corporation in the annual Excellence in Concrete Pavement competition hosted by the American Concrete Pavement Association.
Black Construction completed the $50.8 million repair project at Andersen's South Runway two months ahead of schedule, despite 73 inches of rainfall during the paving period. The company competed against contractors, engineers and project owners across the United States and Canada in the Commercial Service and Military Airports category.
Restaurant Goes Local
The Beach bar and grill in Tumon has launched a new menu to feature Guam-grown produce in support of the island's new "Buy Local" program. In dishes like "Chamorro Gazpacho Martini," "Uncle Joe's Chicken Kelaguen," and signature beach burgers, the new menu showcases locally farmed hydroponic lettuce, fiery hot island peppers, aromatic herbs, fresh green onions and coconut.
The Beach is operated by Guam-Saipan entertainment and attraction company, Baldyga Group.
Competing for Federal Work
Small businesses aiming to compete for lucrative Armed Forces and other federal agency contracts will continue to find procurement training and other business resources on Guam and now in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Defense Logistics Agency has renewed its funding for the Guam Procurement Technical Assistance Center for the fourth year and will launch services in the CNMI on Nov. 9 (Tinian) and Nov. 10 (Saipan).
PTAC is hosted by the School of Business & Public Administration at the University of Guam.
Guam's Department of Labor is now a federally registered state apprenticeship agency, according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor.
"Participants in Guam's apprenticeship program will receive a nationally recognized credential, and employers will benefit from a highly skilled workforce that is trained to industry standards," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
The Registered Apprenticeship "earn and learn" model prepares participants for high-skilled careers while allowing them to earn a paycheck.
Regional air ambulance service operated by the Guam-based private jet management and charter company, Aviation Concepts, has been discontinued. CareJet has flown critical care patients to hospitals throughout the Pacific for the last four years. Its MyLife air ambulance membership, designed to help make the service more affordable, was previously shut down when the program could not sell enough subscriptions.
CareJet performed over 100 flights between hospitals throughout Asia-Pacific before closing down, according to Terry Habeck, CEO and president of Aviation Concepts. The company will focus on its jet charter and management business from its bases in Tiyan, Guam and Subic Bay Operation Center in the Philippines.
Agana Shopping Center will host the first annual Spaghetti and Rib Eating Challenge on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the mall's center court. The event is presented by Capricciosa, Tony Roma's, Payless Supermarkets and Hit Radio 100.
Image used in this article courtesy Graur Razvan Ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- 14/11/2011 06:14 - Secretary Clinton, Japan’s Gemba Stress Futenma Replacement Will Proceed; Panetta and Dempsey Call on Congress to Solve Budget
- 12/11/2011 16:59 - Guam Company Wins $7 Million Tree Trimming and Grounds Maintenance Contract for Various Military Facilities
- 10/11/2011 14:44 - As Super Committee Democrats Reject Latest Republican Deal, Panetta Calls on Congress to ‘Show Some Leadership’
- 08/11/2011 08:01 - Impact of Significant Pentagon Cuts: Secretary Panetta Says Asia-Pacific Presence a Priority, Confirms Commitment to “Establishment of an Operational Marine Presence on Guam”
- 07/11/2011 09:01 - With Past Appropriations Sitting Unused, Navy Needs Reassurance from Congress to Spend; Guam Projects Remain in Limbo
- 03/11/2011 18:56 - Can U.S. Afford to Shrink Marine Corps?
- 02/11/2011 17:16 - Here We Go Again: Temporary Budget Extension for Fed Set to Expire Nov. 18; Prolongs Foggy Outlook for Guam Military Buildup Appropriations
- 31/10/2011 15:39 - Quick Hits – The Latest in Guam Business – October 31, 2011 – Real Estate, Shipping, Airlines, Telecom, Tourism, Technology
- 31/10/2011 13:33 - Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base Continues Expansion; Joint Military Opens Professional Maintenance Facility for Combat Vehicles
- 28/10/2011 18:11 - Partisan Rift in Deficit Super Committee Dampens a Week of Positive Diplomacy for Asia-Pacific Realignment and Guam Military Buildup