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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:


Moody's Affirms Positive Rating for SC Ports Authority

Outstanding revenue bonds receive A1 rating

Charleston, S.C. - Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed an A1 rating for the SC Port’s Authority’s outstanding debt, citing a strong economy and deep-water harbor as key drivers of the SCPA’s stable financial outlook.

In a report released today, Moody’s referenced SCPA’s current harbor depth as a competitive advantage that will be significantly enhanced by the end of the decade by the Post-45 Harbor Deepening Project. Significant growth of refrigerated cargo storage capacity, along with increased manufacturing in the state and growing exports were also named as key strengths in the SCPA’s rating.

Strong support from the state of South Carolina for harbor deepening and port-related infrastructure also contributed to the positive rating.

“Having the involvement and leadership of our General Assembly for the harbor deepening project, in addition to the focus of our Governor and SC Department of Commerce on economic development, manufacturing and exporting enhanced our ability to maintain a positive financial outlook,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome.

According to the report, Moody’s expects SCPA “will continue to exhibit strong growth and will be able to post revenue growth to support the increased debt without significant effects on net revenue debt service coverage.”

The rating on SCPA’s $170 million in outstanding revenue bonds includes analysis of financial performance, volume growth, customer diversity, performance relative to competitors and future capital projects. The SCPA is solely responsible for the revenue bonds it issues, with no obligation of the state or taxpayers. 

About the South Carolina Ports Authority
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