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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Guam Port’s Secondhand Crane Purchase Moves Forward
Board chairman assures purchase a ‘good deal for Guam’

By Joy White

HAGTA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Dec. 21, 2012) – Amid its recent controversies, the Port Authority of Guam (PAG) celebrated a milestone yesterday as officials signed documents transferring the possession of four Port of Los Angeles (POLA) cranes from Matson- Horizon to the Port.

PAG purchased the POLA cranes from Matson-Horizon for $12 million through a loan approved by the Public Utilities Commission in August. An additional $9 million will be needed for repairs.

The loan is through ANZ bank and will be partially funded by increased surcharges.

"Today we’re going to have new assets for the people of Guam. For the first time ever in the history of the port, our folks are going to have their own crane," stated Dan Tydingco, chairman of the PAG board.

For her part, PAG General Manager Joanne Brown said: "Today is the day to give pause and focus on what our main mission here is and what really matters to our people. Today is a tremendous investment because this is part of the port’s growth process."

Brown also expressed her eagerness to get to know the port's employees and work with them to improve operations.

Tydingco assured that the cranes are a good deal for the port, adding he appreciates criticism from the community, as long as it is constructive.

Better deal?

Sen. Benjamin J.F. Cruz has been against the purchase of the cranes, saying that buying two brand new cranes instead of four used cranes that would need future repairs for the same price is a better deal.

According to Cruz, the three cranes being purchased are already aged and may break down. Instead, Cruz is proposing that PAG purchase two new cranes (including a warranty) for $18 million, plus $1 million each for shipping costs.

But Tydingco stated, "I assure you it’s a very good deal for Guam, although it is not the ideal deal." He said that although PAG would ideally like to purchase new cranes, it had not received the support it needed in past years.

Public Law 31-145 mandated that PAG purchase at least two cranes by Dec. 31.

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