Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed an A1 rating for the SC Port’s Authority’s outstanding debt, citing a strong economy and deep-water harbor as key drivers of the SCPA’s stable financial outlook.
In a report released yesterday, Moody’s referenced SCPA’s current harbor depth as a competitive advantage that will be significantly enhanced by the end of the decade by the Post-45 Harbor Deepening Project. Significant growth of refrigerated cargo storage capacity, along with increased manufacturing in the state and growing exports were also named as key strengths in the SCPA’s rating.
Strong support from the state of South Carolina for harbor deepening and port-related infrastructure also contributed to the positive rating.
“Having the involvement and leadership of our General Assembly for the harbor deepening project, in addition to the focus of our Governor and SC Department of Commerce on economic development, manufacturing and exporting enhanced our ability to maintain a positive financial outlook,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome.
According to the report, Moody’s expects SCPA “will continue to exhibit strong growth and will be able to post revenue growth to support the increased debt without significant effects on net revenue debt service coverage.”
The rating on SCPA’s $170 million in outstanding revenue bonds includes analysis of financial performance, volume growth, customer diversity, performance relative to competitors and future capital projects. The SCPA is solely responsible for the revenue bonds it issues, with no obligation of the state or taxpayers.