SC - On the heels of a
10 percent increase in container volume last month, the South Carolina Ports
Authority (SCPA) Board today approved the most aggressive investment plan in the
agency's 70-year history, underscoring the anticipated growth of South
Carolina's ports from big ship traffic, the expansion of the Panama Canal and
increased exports from the region.
During its regular
monthly meeting, the Board approved the SCPA's budget for the 2013 fiscal year,
which begins July 1. The plan projects an eight percent increase in container
volume and $146.9 million in capital spending on major investments such as the
construction of the new Navy Base Terminal and upgrades to facility
infrastructure and information systems.
investment plan for our ports mirrors the significant investment of our state
toward realizing the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project," said SCPA Chairman
Bill Stern, referring to the $180 million budget allocation approved by both
houses of the South Carolina legislature this session. An additional $120
million toward the deepening project's construction is being considered by the
budget conference committee.
Stern continued, "In
making these commitments to our port infrastructure, we are ensuring that South
Carolina has the tools to spur the economic growth and job creation that comes
with having world-class port facilities."
"We continue to
challenge our organization to grow above the market," said Jim Newsome,
president and CEO of the SCPA. "The aggressive projections for our business
growth reflect our belief that deep water will drive port selection by cargo
Also included in the
FY2013 budget is a six percent planned increase in breakbulk and
non-containerized cargo at South Carolina's public seaports. Breakbulk tonnage
has been a major growth factor for the SCPA, buoyed by the completed $23-million
project to transform Columbus Street Terminal into a premier ro-ro, breakbulk
and project cargo facility. The terminal handles cargoes such as BMW vehicle
exports as well as heavy lift moves for the power generation
budget plan calls for an increase in personnel, with the addition of nine jobs
in the operations and maintenance areas during the next 12
Results & Approved Projects
The Board also
discussed during the meeting the port system's current business climate. May's
container volume of 132,498 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) was a nearly 10
percent gain over the same month last year.
In the 2012 fiscal
year to date (from July 2011 to May 2012), TEU volume in the Port of Charleston
was up 3.4 percent from the previous year while pier tons of non-containerized
cargo in Charleston and Georgetown climbed 43.1 percent.
In other business, the
SCPA Board approved a $2 million paving and container yard improvement project
for North Charleston Terminal, to be completed by Banks Construction Co. The
Board also authorized a contract related to electrical upgrades needed at that
facility to replace four older dockside container cranes with four new cranes,
which the SCPA plans to purchase within the next year.
Board approved a resolution authorizing the SCPA, as Grantee, to apply to
reorganize Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 21 under an alternative site framework.
This reorganization would increase the FTZ service area along the coast and
broaden the benefits to both new and existing companies using the program. The
SCPA serves as Grantee of the FTZ program for FTZ No. 21 along the South
Carolina coast and FTZ No. 38 in the Upstate.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>