VIPA Maintains Credit Rating, Receives Stable Outlook from S&P

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:

St. Croix

– 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.

St. John

– Development of a paid parking facility in Cruz Bay.

– Pavement of the cargo area at the Theovald Moorehead Dock and Terminal.

St. Thomas

– 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. 

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