Community Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff

ANOTHER DROP IN FUEL PRICES FOR AMERICAN SAMOA —

American Samoa is seeing another drop across the board on all fuel products sold in the territory thanks to a decrease in crude oil price last month, according to the latest data from the ASG Office of Petroleum Management (OPM).

The new fuel prices for American Samoa became effective July 15 and will extend to Aug 14, when OPM releases the new maximum allowable price (MAP) — or the wholesale price, which is set by the government.

OPM petroleum officer, Sione Kava says the wholesale prices for American Samoa has dropped two months in a row.

Citing data from global markets, Kava says the cost of crude oil, Spot Singapore (MOPS) dropped by an average of $4 a barrel from last month. The drop in the crude oil price per barrel can be partly attributed to increasing crude oil stocks.

He explained that for American Samoa, the dated Brent Crude dropped another $4 a barrel from last month bringing down the Singapore MOPS to an average of 8 cents per gallon. However, transportation costs, which is the cost of transporting oil via tanker, went up by a couple of dollars per metric ton.

Kava, again, reminds the public the Base Price and the Transportation cost account for over 57% of the MAP on diesel, and 61% of gasoline and jet fuel sold on island. These costs, says Kava, are determined by the global market, and American Samoa and the rest of the region, for that matter, have very little to do with it.

The drop in the new MAP, means a decrease across the board for all petroleum products sold in the territory. Based on the current MAP — July 15-Aug. 14 — released early this week by OPM, gasoline prices decreased by 9.8 cents per gallon while diesel fuel — road diesel, boilers/generators, commercial fishing vessel and other marine diesel — dropped by 8.3 cents per gallon.

The MAP for Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel for road diesel (which is used by new school buses) and boilers and generators (used by new generators at the Satala Power Plant) dropped by 7.8 cents per gallon, while it’s a 8.6 cent per gallon decrease in the MAP for jet fuel and kerosene.

Kava reminds motorists and local consumers that ASG/OPM has no control over the retail price at the gas stations, as that is determined by the owners. He says the average at the gas station for gasoline is $2.98 per gallon and road diesel is $3.04 per gallon.

BANK OF HAWAII GRANT PROJECTS

With a commitment to “seeing our communities grow and thrive by encouraging economic development,” Bank of Hawaii is again offering the “Atina‘e Manuia mo Amerika Samoa Grant”, which is awarded to projects that will foster small business development and economic activity within American Samoa.

“We understand that economic development isn’t always easy, so we are investing in grants to help stimulate small business development in American Samoa,” said BoH, which noted that the grant program is being offered to small business owners to promote new businesses and to encourage existing small businesses to expand.

“Our ultimate goal is to create economic stability and maintain a superior quality of life for families in American Samoa,” BoH said.

Grants of $5,000 are awarded on the basis of impact to the business and economic benefit to the community. Past grant awardees are not eligible for this year’s program as BoH is seeking new requests from businesses it has not yet assisted.

For more information contact the American Samoa office manger at 633-5068. Deadline for grant applications is Aug. 11.

12 AMERICAN SAMOA LONGLINE ENTRY PERMITS AVAILABLE

The US National Marine Fisheries Service announced last week that 12 American Samoa pelagic longline limited entry permits in three vessel size classes are available for 2017. NMFS must receive completed permit applications and payment by Nov. 20, 2017.

Federal regulations allows NMFS to issue new permits for the American Samoa pelagic longline limited entry program if the number of permits in a size class falls below the maximum allowed. At least 12 permits are available for issuance, as follows: Ten in Class A (vessels less than or equal to 40 ft in overall length); One in Class B (over 40 ft to 50 ft); and One in Class C (over 50 to 70 ft).

NMFS notes that the number of available permits may change before the application period closes. Furthermore, NMFS will only consider complete applications, which must include the completed and signed application form, evidence of documented participation in the fishery, and non-refundable payment for the application-processing fee.

Applicants with the earliest documented participation in the fishery on a Class A sized vessel will receive the highest priorities for obtaining permits in any size class, followed by applicants with the earliest documented participation in Classes B, C, and D, in that order.

For detailed information contact: Walter Ikehara, Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS PIR, tel 808-725-5175, fax 808-725-5215, or email PIRO-permits@noaa.gov.

Details are also available on federal portals - www.regulations.gov and www.federalregister.gov

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