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Letters: NTEC is doing what many startups can only wish

As a Navajo in business financing, coming from Chinle, but living in Albuquerque, I want to state a couple of things to the tribe, as I follow Navajo Transitional Energy Company.

NTEC is doing what many startup companies could only wish. This all in regards to financing tribal energy projects. New ground has been broken for tribal energy entities like NTEC. As NTEC positions itself in the energy markets, outside corporations fear the worst. They know someday they could be coming back to the tribe (Navajo) for power sales. A competitor like Navajo Nation could become their dreaded competition in energy. They fear this because tribes own the land, water, ROW and leases, exempt from federal taxes and have tribal sovereignty.

But going up against corporate giants is not easy. These corporations have deep pockets that can pay for the best lawyers, engineers and finance personnel. Corporations can pressure the best for deals that favors them. Years of practice have made these big corporations who they are today. They are not used to having tribal nations or their entities tell them what a deal structure should look like.

In 2013, Navajo Nation’s NTEC took on corporate giant BHP Billiton and APS when they were shutting down and prevailed. Global corporations like Peabody and Salt River Project bow to no one, except their shareholders and the executives they report to. They protect their shareholders and senior executives to give them the maximum benefits. These big corporations (SRP) take care of their own.

They could care less about the Navajo Nation. Corporations always want the deal to favor them. We Navajos must remember after 50 years of not controlling Navajo natural resources the tribe is starting to take back control. Navajo shareholders are the Navajo people. Navajo executives are the tribe.

Therefore, it’s important for Navajo Nation to continue to support its tribal entity. NTEC has shown the tribe what it can do. If you are not familiar with corporate financing of big acquisitions it can be hard to understand. Unless you could sit in those negotiating rooms, the average person has little idea how brutal the negotiations can be. The bonds and guarantees are what finance these big projects.

Little NTEC has stepped up into this world of global energy financing. I was impressed with how NTEC structured their first financing. Taking their coal supply agreement to banks with little credit and convincing them to finance them was impressive. Then paying off their loan in three years is almost unheard of.

This was all done holding a credit revolver to finance their capital expenditures during startup. Remember, this all coming from a Navajo tribal entity that not once came to the Nation asking for funding. Navajo Nation, stand behind your tribal entity (NTEC). They stepped up to the plate and showed the Nation how it is done. It’s important.

Thank you.

John H. Begay
Chinle, Ariz.

Help my mom find her pen pal

Hi, my name is Ray. I live in Perth, Western Australia, and I’m trying to locate an old pen pal my mother had in the 80s and 90s. She lost contact with him and I’d love to surprise her by finding him. He is a Navajo Indian by name of Timothy L. Shaw. He should be in his 50s by now. He was in prison back then. I’m pretty sure he was in Coconino penitentiary. His mother lived on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. I think I may have found his prison details from when he was sentenced in 1989. I guess I’m asking for a huge favor to see if he can be found as my mother talks about him regularly but doesn’t know how to go about finding him. If you know Mr. Shaw could you please email me at raymondtindall@yahoo.com.au?

Raymond Tindall
Perth, Western Australia


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