by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The New Year will bring some $200 million worth of capital improvement projects for the Guam Power Authority. Consolidated Commission on Utilities chairman Simon Sanchez says the projects will improve service and efficiency.
While ratepayers can expect a slight increase to the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause if the Public Utilities Commission approves of it, GPA is also in the process of getting the green light to implement a 5% increase to the base rate beginning in April. Sanchez said, "We're looking at the possibility of refinancing some of our long-term debt with our private partners. The reason we like the idea of refinancing is we've almost paid off all the generator costs for the generators built in the 90's to end load-shedding. We're almost done. We'll be done this decade. And it will save a lot of money for ratepayers but it won't be until 2018 or 2019."
Sanchez says refinancing could result in lowering the base rate increase. GPA meanwhile intends to spend $25 million to improve efficiency at Cabras 1 and 2, $40 million to upgrade the distribution system, and another $34 million on a smartgrid system.