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Utility agencies forge alliances with military

by Nick Delgado

Guam - There's at least one agreement with the military for the impending buildup, and that alliance hopes to upgrade the island's utility services and save the Government of Guam a pretty penny.  The Consolidated Commission on Utilities has approved a memorandum of understanding between the Guam Waterworks Authority and the Guam Power Authority with the U.S. Navy.

CCU Chairperson Simon Sanchez told KUAM News,  "They set the general frame work by which we are going to develop the water, wastewater and power solutions to address the military buildup that is proposed for Guam."

Sanchez says the MOUs are nothing formal. The GWA document states that they will work with the feds to identify costs attributed to the buildup and allocate those costs into agreements, and cooperate with feds and local agencies to resolve challenges, including funding, to provide water and wastewater treatment for those both inside and outside the gate. The MOU also would develop and utilize common standards related to security, reliability, interoperability, construction, and performance, and utilize available low or no cost financing from the Government of Japan.

"Those cost will be born by the department of defense or the federal family or other federal entities, there's also recognition that Japan might offer some financing for some of these solutions, a new wastewater plant, for example," said Sanchez.

As for the GPA MOU, it states that both parties must agree to work collaboratively with each other, while developing steps to facilitate the implementation of proposed solutions for power demands as a result of the population increase.  "We acknowledge that there is already some work that would need to be done with combustion turbines that DOD will need to continue to pay and for transmission and distribution lines needed to run the power to the new marine base that also would be paid by the Department of Defense," the CCU chairman stated.

Sanchez says the MOU with the local utility agencies and the military is what he calls only the initial deal for the major projects expected with the buildup.

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