FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Preliminary Responses Received for Port Expansion in Charleston, Jasper County
Charleston, SC – The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) has received 11 responses from ocean carriers and marine terminal operators that wish to remain involved in South Carolina's port expansion projects.
Earlier this year, the SCSPA invited private participation in two expansion projects - a three-berth, 280-acre container terminal in Charleston at the former Navy Base and a 1,800-acre site on the Savannah River in Jasper County.
Companies expressing interest, participating in the process and submitting responses by the August 1 deadline include 10 ocean carriers and five marine terminal operators: APL, APM Terminals/Maersk Inc., CMA-CGM America, Ceres Terminals, CKYH (COSCO North America, K-Line America, Yang Ming America and Hanjin Shipping), Evergreen America, MTC (Marine Terminals Corp.), Mistui O.S.K. Line, OOCL (USA), P&O Ports North America and SSA Marine.
The Corps of Engineers expects a decision on permits for the Charleston expansion project by August 2006. In January, the SPA Board approved a nearly $5 million environmental study to obtain the necessary approvals. The SCSPA has since awarded $1.5 million in contracts for engineering, operational, environmental and mitigation work. In addition, the federal highway bill passed by Congress last week includes a $10 million earmark for the new port access road.
While the Charleston expansion is somewhat ahead of the Jasper project, the SCSPA intends to move both projects ahead on parallel courses.
The Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) issued in February was broad, “seeking private sector interest in participating financially in terminal design and development and operation of either or both” of South Carolina's major port expansion projects.
A number of ocean carriers and marine terminal operators responded favorably and expressed interest. In June, the SCSPA Board unanimously reaffirmed its commitment to the competitive process and held informational meetings with the firms to detail the two projects.
Interested companies were asked to respond in writing to confirm the nature and level of their interest. These confidential responses will be used to develop a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be issued in the coming weeks.