Hawaii’s Harbors Division Gets Affirmation for Revenue Bonds

By Karen Robes Meeks

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Harbors Division’s ‘AA-’ rating for harbor revenue bonds Series 2010 A and 2010 B.

Fitch did a portfolio-wide review of North American standalone port credits after the COVID-19 outbreak prompted changes in the market and its bond ratings affirmation is a reflection of HDOT’s financial management and steady cargo movement.

“Fitch Ratings review affirms the State’s role in providing public confidence on the continued shipment of goods through our ports.” said Transportation Deputy Director for Harbors Derek Chow. “The Hawaii shipping industry continues to meet the needs of the people of Hawaii during the COVID-19 outbreak and Harbors Division staff continue to report to work to perform their essential functions to support the movement of goods into Hawaii and maintaining essential functions.”

The Harbors Division adopted a cash flow model to fund large capacity Harbors Modernization projects such as the first phase of Kapalama Container Terminal, said Transportation Director Jade Butay.

“The Harbors Division will continue using pay as we go funding for projects in an effort to minimize selling bonds and will incur debt as needed for modernization projects that improve efficiency of cargo movement throughout the islands,” Butay said.

By Sarah Spangler