SCPA’s Harbor Depth as Asset

Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services have affirmed South Carolina Ports Authority’s (SCPA) solid financial position, citing a growing regional economy, significant capital support and a strong operating profile as key factors in the positive ratings issued this week.

The ratings come as SCPA plans to issue approximately $290 million in new revenue bonds to fund several major capital projects, including the purchase of two super post-Panamax cranes and wharf improvements for the Wando Welch Terminal, upgrades to refrigerated cargo infrastructure at both SCPA container terminals, and construction of the Navy Base Terminal.

Strong ratings from two of the top credit reporting agencies confirm that SCPA is well-poised to deliver on an aggressive capital plan and remain a top ten container port, offering the modern facilities, deep water and reliability necessary for above-market growth in today’s shipping environment,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “These ratings reaffirm the financial industry’s confidence in our port system’s long-term strategic plan.”

Moody’s, which issued an A1 rating with a stable outlook to the 2015 bonds as well as the $155 million in outstanding revenue bonds issued in 2010, cited SCPA’s current harbor depth as an asset to the organization’s strong competitive position that will be enhanced by plans to deepen to 52 feet by the end of the decade.

The Moody’s report states that SCPA’s “stable outlook is based upon our expectation that the authority will continue to exhibit strong financial and operating performance, and that it will be able to achieve sufficient revenue growth to support the increased debt without significant detriment to coverage and liquidity metrics.”

Standard & Poors assigned an A+ rating with a stable outlook on both bond series as well. The agency referenced SCPA’s import-export cargo balance and good diversity of top customers as important credit strengths. The report also noted SCPA’s “solid regional position as provider of maritime infrastructure in the Southeast” in its credit assessment.

The ratings include 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.

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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