FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, S.C. - SC Ports Authority has been awarded a 10.8 million dollar Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for planned upgrades and improvements to its Wando Welch Terminal.
"We are deeply appreciative for the support of our Congressional delegation and the Obama Administration, who were instrumental in elevating the visibility of our port, an important asset to South Carolina and the entire nation,” said Bill Stern, SCPA Board Chairman. “The Wando Terminal improvements ensure that the SCPA has the infrastructure necessary to handle growing import and export cargo volumes on a new generation of ocean vessels, supporting US trade goals and our nation’s role in international commerce."
The US Department of Transportation grant represents nearly 13 percent of the total estimated project cost for upgrading the SCPA’s busiest container terminal. The two-year project includes upgrades to structural support of the wharf and fendering system, as well as modifications to crane rails to accommodate two new super-post-Panamax cranes on order for the terminal.
"This announcement couldn’t be more timely, given the information shared by industry experts at this week’s SC International Trade Conference,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “The prevailing sentiment throughout the maritime community and supporting industries is that ports are facing significant infrastructure improvement needs. It is clear that post-Panamax vessels are the new standard and that port competitiveness is and will continue to be driven by the ability to accommodate big ships."
Construction on the project will begin in the spring of 2015 and will be completed in two or two and a half years, followed by the Post-45 Harbor Deepening Project and the opening of a new SCPA container terminal on the former Navy Base by the end of the decade.
The South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston, Georgetown and Greer, handling international commerce valued at more than $63 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.