Guam – The United States Department of Agriculture today [Friday] officialy announced that they have awarded the Port Authority of Guam $54.5 Million in loans to complete the funding for Phase 1-A of the Port Modernization Program.
The announcement was made today by Joseph Diego, Area II Director, Rural Development of the USDA during the Port Modernization Program Kickoff Ceremony. The USDA loans will now be combined with the $50 Million appropriation given to the Port by the Department of Defense to complete Phase 1-A of the project.
“This is great news for the Port Authority and the people of Guam,” said Port General Manager Enrique J.S. Agustin. “We are humbled by the faith USDA and DOD have in our port and our project and we are honored they have joined us on this journey to overhaul our commercial sea port.”
The Port Modernization Program, as authorized by the Guam Legislature, spans a 30-year planning horizon and is valued at a little more than $260 Million. Phase I-A and Phase I-B of the program should be accomplished over the next 5 years and are focused on critical maintenance and repair of waterfront facilities and the dredging and uplands expansion needed to handle near-term cargo demands of the military buildup. Phase II of the program will occur 30 years into the future and focuses on the expansion needed to address the cargo demands of the long-term organic growth of Guam and our neighboring islands.
Phase 1-A will be funded by the $ 50 Million appropriation from the Department of Defense combined with the $54.5 Million awarded today by the USDA. Funding for the Phase I-B project has yet to be identified. Phase 1-A includes reconfiguration and expansion of the cargo terminals, creation of a new gate complex, reconfiguration and expansion of selected buildings, upgraded utilities and security features, and state-of-the-art terminal and gate operating systems. Phase 1-B includes wharf repairs, dredging, cranes, and additional security equipment.
The Port Authority of Guam now joins with their federal partner, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and their Program Management Team, EA Engineering, Sciences and Technology, to launch the implementation phase of the project. MARAD Administrator David T. Matsuda flew to Guam this week to attend today’s Kickoff Ceremony.
“The fact that the Administrator of MARAD, David Matsuda, flew to Guam to join us definitely sends a signal that our partnerships are solid as we move forward with the construction phase of our Modernization Program,” Agustin said. “We look forward to continuing our work with MARAD, USDA and our other federal and local partners.”