Utilities set to hire PMO to aide in upgrades - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Utilities set to hire PMO to aide in upgrades

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Once the military buildup starts to take off, significant construction will occur for both the Guam Power Authority and the Guam Waterworks Authority. In order to manage nearly a billion dollars in upgrades, both utility agencies are in the process of interviewing candidates to become their new program management office team.

Interviews are being conducted for a program management office team to help GPA and GWA manage the $1 billion worth of upgrades that are anticipated over the next decade for the military buildup. Consolidated Commissions on Utilities chairman Simon Sanchez told KUAM News, "It will still be run by GPA and GWA, but our team will be able to add engineers, technical staff, financial staff, public outreach staff, and do the best job of managing this scarce source of money that is available for the next decade."

Eight companies bid for the job, and the CCU interviewed five companies this week with a selection expected to be made in the next 60-90 days. The candidates include R.W. Armstrong, SAIC Energy, Brown and Caldwell, AECom and SSFM International. He adds the companies will have both local and off-island expertise in their respective fields. "They have to have managed projects globally, large scale projects, background with environmental, legal, financial and of course they need to be strong engineering capabilities because utilities are very engineering dependent," added Sanchez.

The chairman says in the next decade Guam has a once in a lifetime chance to access billions dollars of upgrade with this expected growth. "We want to make sure that when this billion-dollar+ fund flows in the Guam utilities that we've done everything possible to bring the best expertise to the table to supplement our own expertise - to make sure we design the solutions wisely, we manage that money wisely, we get to the most bang for the buck, so we end up with a system more efficient and therefore less costly to the community," he noted.

GPA meanwhile is close to completing the evaluation of eight bids for renewable energy and in the next 30 to 60 days will recommend and select the best alternative energy solution provider to aid the company.

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