FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, SC - The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) Board today approved its fiscal year 2012 budget, which projects a 6.6 percent increase in container volume and nearly $82 million in capital projects for the year.
In the fiscal year beginning July 1, the SCSPA plans to invest $81.7 million in capital projects. The largest areas of planned spending are terminal infrastructure improvements and Charleston’s new cruise terminal. Also included is nearly $17 million related to the new terminal operating system, which consolidates all current information systems at the SCSPA and will be implemented in 2012.
Also included in the FY2012 budget are projections on cargo volume, including a 6.6 percent increase in container volume and a 7.4 percent increase in breakbulk and non-containerized cargo at South Carolina’s public seaports.
In the fiscal year to date (from July 2010 to May 2011), pier containers handled in the Port of Charleston were up 9.3 percent from the previous year while pier tons of non-containerized cargo in Charleston and Georgetown climbed 44.6 percent.
“We are investing in South Carolina’s future to better serve businesses that create jobs,” said Bill Stern, chairman of the SCSPA. “With harbor deepening in Charleston moving forward, these improvement projects will enhance our ability to handle the future growth of the port and our State.”
In other business, the SCSPA Board approved $6.5 million in other projects: a $2.09-million contract to Landmark Construction Co. of North Charleston for security improvements at North Charleston Terminal and $4.4 million related to crane relocation and realignment.
Since consolidating container operations at two terminals earlier this year, the SCSPA will relocate two super post-Panamax cranes from Columbus Street Terminal to the Wando Welch Terminal, reposition cranes along the Wando dock and remove one obsolete crane. The crane relocation involves three contracts for electrical work, structural work, as well as the transportation of the cranes.
The crane realignment positions the SCSPA’s largest crane assets in locations ideal for working the big ships calling Charleston today and prepares the port for the surge in big-ship traffic following the Panama Canal expansion in 2014. This week, the SCSPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed a cost-sharing agreement for the post-45 foot harbor deepening project.
About the South Carolina State Ports Authority
The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $50 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year. For more information, visit www.scspa.com.