A quartet of Guam MACC MilCon awarded for Marine base

The joint venture of Gilbane SMCC ECC LLC was awarded May 5 (CHamoru Standard Time) a $75.26 million firm-fixed-price task order under a previously awarded multiple-award construction contract for the construction of facilities at Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz Guam. The work provides “for the construction of a permanent maintenance building, an administrative building, and other facilities that require operational, maintenance and support facilities to conduct the mission requirements of the Maine Air Ground Combat Task Force” at Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz in Guam. The contract also contains two option items that are being exercised at the time of the award. Work is expected to be completed by September 2024 and is funded by fiscal 2022 military construction (Navy) funds in the amount of $75,196,267. Five proposals were received for this task order, which was awarded by Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific.

In addition, the Black Construction-Tutor Perini JV was awarded a $73.02 million firm-fixed-price task order for the “construction of low-rise facilities to support the 4th Marine Regiment” at the Marine Corps base.

The work provides for construction that includes an electronics-communications maintenance shop, auto maintenance shop with a dispatch office, and company-level administrative space. This contract also contains two option items that are being exercised at time of award and work is expected to be completed by August 2024. Fiscal 2022 military construction (Navy) funds in the amount of $73,020,113 were obligated. Five proposals were received for this task order, which was also awarded by NAFAC Pacific.

The Black Construction-Tutor Perini JV was also awarded a $48.92 million firm-fixed-price task order under the previously awarded MAC contract for the construction at the Andersen Air Force Base of “a permanent aviation administrative building that will provide command and administrative areas for Marine Aircraft Group Headquarters, Marine Air Control Group Detachment, and air operations personnel, as well as support Marine Corps aircraft and personal on AAFB and Marine Corps Base Guam operations.”

The task order contains one unexercised option which, if exercised, would increase the cumulative task order value to $51.33 million. Work is expected to be completed by August 2024. Fiscal 2022 military construction (Navy) funds in the amount of $48,919,252 are obligated. Three proposals were received for the task order, which was also awarded by NAVFAC Pacific.

Reliable Builders Inc. was awarded a $43. 44 million contract for the construction of “munitions storage igloos at Anderson Air Force Base,” to include roadway reconstruction/resurfacing, associated utilities and security features. The contract also includes two option items that are being exercised at time of award. Work is expected to be completed by July 2025. Fiscal 2022 military construction (Air Force) funds in the amount of $43,444,038 were obligated. The contract was competitively procured with five offers received and NAVFAC Pacific also made this award.


Matson sees demand increase and is “cautiously optimistic” about Guam

Matson Inc. reported May 4 net income of $339.2 million for the quarter ended March 31. Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, was $87.2 million.

Matthew Cox, chairman and CEO of Matson said the shipping line had continued to see steady demand with higher year-over-year volumes in Guam and Alaska and demand in Hawaii comparable to the level achieved in the year ago period. “In logistics, operating income increased year-over-year with strength across all of the business lines as we continued to see elevated goods consumption, inventory restocking and favorable supply and demand fundamentals in our core markets,” Cox said.  

“In Guam, the company’s container volume in the first quarter 2022 increased 10.0% year-over-year, primarily due to higher retail-related demand. In the near-term, we are cautiously optimistic on further economic growth in Guam as tourism traffic improves as the year progresses,” he said.

The Other Containers market – which includes Micronesia, the South Pacific and Japan also saw higher volumes of containers.

The China market continues to see supply chain challenges due to COVID, he said, although Matson expects elevated demand for most of the year for the China service.


Air cargo down in Asia Pacific region; passenger travel surges

Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes decrease by 5.1% in March, compared to the same month in 2021. Available capacity in the region fell 6.4% compared to March 2021, the largest drop of all regions. The zero-COVID policy in mainland China and Hong Kong is impacting performance, according to a May 3 release from the International Air Transport Association.   

Regarding passenger travel, IATA said it is seeing “the long-expected surge in pent-up demand finally being realized. Unfortunately, we are also seeing long delays at many airports with insufficient resources to handle the growing numbers …” For the Asia-Pacific region, IATA said, “While China and Japan remain restrictive to foreign visitors, other countries are becoming more relaxed, including South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand. Capacity rose 70.7% and the load factor was up 24.1 percentage points to 56.6%, the lowest among regions.”


Home Depot to invest venture capital in home improvement market

The Home Depot announced May 3 the debut of Home Depot Ventures, a venture capital fund created to “identify, fund and partner with early-stage companies to accelerate emerging technologies that aim to improve the customer experience and shape the future of home improvement.”

Among its aims, the $150 million fund intends to “invest in companies that advance The Home Depot’s ability to provide a seamless interconnected shopping experience, develop new and differentiated capabilities, and extend its low-cost provider position to …  simplify how people invest in their homes throughout the meaningful milestones of home ownership, including initial purchase and move-in, ongoing maintenance and repairs, and renovations or remodels and evolve how professional (Pro) customers efficiently manage and grow their businesses, saving them time and money.”


USCIS announced Temporary Rule to deal with permitting backlog

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced May 4 a Temporary Final Rule that “increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization and Employment Authorization Documents, available to certain EAD renewal applicants to up to 540 days.” The increase, which is effective immediately, “will help avoid gaps in employment for noncitizens with pending EAD renewal applications and stabilize the continuity of operations for U.S. employers,” USCIS said.

The agency detailed prior challenges, which included a hiring freeze and COVID and announced a goal of three-month processing for EAD renewals by the end of fiscal 2023.

In a separate same-day release, USCIS announced its intention to hire 4,400 staff “in the coming months.”

Links to the rule and applicability: Temporary Final Rule; certain EAD renewal applicants.


Regional earthquake reports:

A 4.9 magnitude earthquake occurred 17.959°N 147.345°E of the Mariana Islands at 2.35 a.m. on May 4. At 11:23 p.m. on April 29 a 4.3 magnitude earthquake occurred 288 kilometers North of Saipan. At 4:22 a.m. on April 24 a 5.2 magnitude earthquake occurred 8.090°N 147.546°E of Yap.

And also: The Westin Resort Guam welcomed back the crews of Jeju Air to Guam. Westin also hosted a wedding and event expo on May 1.

For your diary:

The Guam Chamber of Commerce will host a general membership meeting on May 25 at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa featuring Melanie Mendiola, administrator and CEO of the Guam Economic Development Authority, who will speak on public finance opportunities. mbj