For another year, the V.I. Port Authority has maintained a BBB+ credit rating on its three sets of 2014 marine revenue bonds, with rating agency Standard & Poor’s also classifying VIPA’s financial outlook as stable.
VIPA has maintained the credit rating for the past three years, since 2014 when it closed on a bond refinancing of its 2003 Series A marine revenue bonds. The refinancing raised an extra $29 million for the authority, was used for capital maintenance and enhancing facilities.
At the time, Standard & Poor’s assigned a BBB+ rating to the bonds, which has funded, or will fund the following work:
– Structural repairs, pavement resurfacing and cross channel dredging at the Wilfred Allick Port and Transshipment Center.
– Refurbishing the south tender landing at the pier of the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility in Frederiksted.
– Refurbishing the Gallows Bay Marine Terminal, bulkhead and dredging of the Schooner Bay Channel to allow the berthing of small cruise ships in Christiansted.
– Pavement resurfacing and shoreline restoration at the Ovesen Seaplane Facility.
– Development of a paid parking facility in Cruz Bay.
– Pavement of the cargo area at the Theovald Moorehead Dock and Terminal.
– Dredging of the East Gregorie Channel to accommodate the largest cruise lines in Crown Bay.
– Construction of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Facility and a multi-level parking garage at the Urman Victor Fredericks Marine Terminal in Red Hook (ongoing.)
According to a news release Monday, VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe said Standard & Poor’s continued affirmation of the credit rating was an “indication that VIPA is properly managing its financial portfolio” and paying off the bonds on time.
“My team and I have been working diligently to get these projects completed so that we can provide safer and more efficient port facilities territory-wide,” Dowe said in Monday’s statement.
Dowe said VIPA has kept current with payments and meeting obligations to maintain the agency’s financial standing.
"The S&P’s BBB+ rating confirms that we have been successful,” he said.
Standard and Poor’s is a leading financial market intelligence company. Credit ratings issued by S&P are opinions about an agency’s credit, along with the ability and willingness of an issuer, such as a corporation, state or city government, to meet its financial obligations.