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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
5/9/2001

Monthly News Brief

MORE COLUMBUS STREET IMPROVEMENTS - To improve the utilization of existing marine terminals, the Ports Authority Board today approved two new projects continuing a substantial upgrade of the Columbus Street Terminal, where COSCO, K-Line and Yang Ming are major container carrier customers:

· Warehouses 106 and 107 on the wharf at Columbus Street Terminal will be demolished, allowing the extension of container crane rails around a bend in the dock alongside berth three. Removing the 243,000 square feet of warehouse space will provide additional container berth capacity. A 1958-vintage breakbulk gantry crane will also be removed. Ontario Specialty Contracting was awarded the project, which should be completed in four months, at a cost of $340,048.

· Salmons Dredging will replace the fenders that protect 2,840 feet of concrete wharf at Columbus Street Terminal over a nine-month period at a cost of $1.57 million. The existing plates and timber fenders will be removed. The new fendering system is similar to the work recently done at the Wando Welch Terminal, where steel H-piles and rubber fender units absorb the berthing forces from the ship. Ten new steel mooring bollards will also be installed.

The latest work is part of the SPA's three-year, $240-million capital plan to upgrade existing terminals before realizing new capacity. Also at Columbus Street, a $5.9 million contract to raise and pave a 34-acre grounded container storage area with rubber-tire gantry runways is well underway. New equipment is also on its way to the terminal -- in April, the Authority ordered two 4-high full container handlers and one 7-high empty handler.

CRANE PRODUCTIVITY UP 16% - In April, the Port of Charleston's port-wide crane production topped 36 container moves per crane per hour, up 16% from 31 per crane per hour in April 2000. Most ports are happy to get this level of productivity on a single vessel, much less over an entire month with more than a hundred vessels of all classes. Bill McLean, vice president of operations for the South Carolina State Ports Authority, said the increase came as a result of the improved skill-level of nearly a dozen new operators hired over the past year, as well as the continued team effort of the entire maritime community. Recently, Maersk-Sealand told The Post and Courier that the Port of Charleston was its most productive U.S. port for vessel operations and second in the world only to Hong Kong.

SPA WINS SUMMIT AWARD - The Ports Authority's print advertising campaign "Pros of Productivity" recently won the prestigious Gold Award at the international Summit Awards competition. The Ports Authority competed with more than 3,000 entries, including large multinational corporations, coming from countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Ukraine and the United States.