GWA gets ‘A-‘ rating from S&P; capital improvement projects set to begin

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Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) received an ’A-’ rating from Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings on its $134 million series 2020A water and wastewater system revenue bond, and affirmed ‘A-‘ ratings on debt outstanding, according to Consolidated Commission on Utilities Chairman Joey Duenas. The Outlook has also been kept at Stable.

This investment-grade rating is timely as GWA intends to issue approximately $134 million in 2020A Water and Wastewater System Revenue Bonds towards the end of May to finance projects in its capital improvement plan.

“We are pleased with S&P’s decision to affirm the Authority’s strong credit rating for our upcoming bond issuance,” said Bordallo in a news release. “This rating allows GWA to continue to push forward with the upgrades and improvements needed to deliver the highest standard of water and wastewater services to the people of Guam.”

GWA intends to use the series 2020A bond proceeds to finance projects in its 5-yr capital improvement plan. A fully funded reserve in the amount of maximum annual debt service provides additional liquidity.

As part of its PUC-approved $342 million Capital Improvement Program FY 2020-2024, GWA will soon begin several projects to upgrade critical infrastructure throughout the island’s water and wastewater systems, including over $66 million to specifically address reducing non-revenue water.

“Our crews monitor and maintain more than 903 miles of pipe, 120 groundwater wells, 27 booster pump stations, 26 active storage tanks and six wastewater treatment plants, so being proactive with maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure improvement is paramount to decreasing outages, leaks and costly repairs, while also achieving the highest levels of service to our customers,” said Bordallo.

Upcoming projects include tank replacements in the island’s central and southern areas, rehabilitation of sewer lines, replacement of aging pipes that are prone to breaks, upgrading lift stations, recovery of the Asan Springs water source, and the implementation of automated system controls at GWA pump stations.

We understand that a clean, safe, and efficient water system is a pillar of a stronger economy and a safe community for our residents and visitors,” said Bordallo. “Our daily mission is to continue to enhance our water system through innovation and better execution in managing the improvements, despite the financial and economic challenges that we all are facing due to world events.”

The PUC-Approved $342M Capital Improvement Program is associated with the PUC Rate Order which is available for public review at http://guamwaterworks.org/wp-content/ uploads/2020/04/2020-2-27-GWA-Docket-19-08-Rate-Decision.pdf.

(GWA news release)

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