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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail: EDhand@scspa.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/7/2007

Ports Authority Breaks Ground

Charleston, SC - The Port of Charleston today celebrated the groundbreaking for a new container terminal on the former Navy Base with a special ceremony on the abandoned industrial property.

South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) chairman Bill H. Stern of Columbia was joined by SCSPA president & CEO Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., as well as current and former board members and more than 100 invited guests, including: members of the S.C. General Assembly, city council members, neighborhood leaders, key customers, waterfront officials and several SCSPA executives, staff members and contractors.

“This is a historic day for the SCSPA, this region and the entire state of South Carolina,” said Stern.

When completed in phases over the coming 20 years to satisfy market demand, the new 280-acre terminal will be able to accommodate three additional ships along its 3,510-foot dock and will increase port capacity by about 50%.

“The cycle of economic activity that is international trade is alive and well in South Carolina,” said Groseclose. “Port expansion at the former Navy Base will mean great things for our people and our neighbors.”

The Navy Base terminal groundbreaking is the latest step in the journey toward new capacity for the Port of Charleston, which is expanding to keep pace with its customers, along with competitors in neighboring states.

“We are one very large step closer to the port capacity our state needs,” said Lewis Gossett, president of the S.C. Manufacturers Alliance.

The first $500-million phase of the terminal is expected to open in six years and will generate thousands of good jobs and will contribute millions to the state and local economy.

“Our business is inextricably tied to the port,” said Bobby Hitt, spokesman for BMW Manufacturing in Greer, S.C.

“Today we are here to secure our place among the world's great ports and secure South Carolina's economic future,” said A. Thomas Hood, chairman of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. “In order for our community to succeed we must remain competitive within a global environment. The Port of Charleston provides a means for our region and entire state to compete and win globally.”

The SCSPA has spent four years and $5.3 million in a rigorous permitting process, culminating in the issuance of state and federal environmental permits.

The SCSPA's design for the new terminal at the former Navy Base includes nearly $10 million in environmental and community mitigation measures. This is believed to be the largest mitigation program in the state's history.

Work is already underway to get the site ready for construction. Last week crews started preparing a two-acre test embankment to determine how best to prepare the land for the load of concrete and containers. Later this summer, crews will begin demolishing 40 buildings and structures on the property.