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Facility Expansion: Georgia, Puerto Rico

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Georgia: GPA Board Approves $116 Million for Capital Improvements in FY 2017, Moves Forward with Proposed Jasper Ocean Terminal Joint Project

At its regularly scheduled meeting on May 23, the Georgia Port Authority (GPA) board of directors approved a fiscal year 2017 budget that includes $116 million for capital infrastructure improvements. The funds will cover 15 projects, including $42.4 million for the purchase of new ship-to-shore and rubber tired gantry cranes. The balance will go to upgrade existing assets, property development and other infrastructure.

This year, the GPA will add four ship-to-shore gantry cranes to the 22 already in service at its Garden City Terminal in the Port of Savannah. Four more are scheduled for delivery in late spring 2018, bringing the total to 30 cranes.

The board also announced that in consultation with Governor Nathan Deal and the Office of Planning and Budget, it is committed to fully funding its three-year, $7.5 million commitment to the Jasper Ocean Terminal Joint Project Office (JPO). The funds will cover Georgia's share of the JPO operating costs, as well as the services of a third-party contractor hired to prepare an environmental impact statement for the Jasper Ocean Terminal.

"The announcement today to fund three consecutive years of JPO expenses shows Georgia's commitment to bringing this project forward as soon as possible," said GPA Vice Chair Allgood. "For the South Carolina communities adjacent to the Jasper Ocean Terminal, its development will have a massive positive impact. It has the potential to create thousands of jobs, bring in millions in tax revenue for local governments, and ensure the region's future capacity for decades to come."

As planned, the new terminal will feature 10 berths (phased in to meet rising demand), a turning basin, road and rail access corridors, and supporting infrastructure on 1,500 acres in Jasper County (SC). This new investment will increase the region's capacity by 7 million TEUs.

In other business, Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported to the board that container volumes dropped by 11.3 percent for the month of April, which saw a total of 298,040 TEUs. For the first 10 months of the fiscal year, beginning July 1, GPA has moved a total of 3 million TEUs, an increase of 0.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

"Although container volumes were down in April, the monthly and more importantly year-to-date numbers - primarily driven by increased import market share - continue to exceed our forecast," Mr. Foltz said. "We anticipate similar year-on-year monthly variances through July due to prior year artificially inflated volumes."

In his report to the board, Mr. Foltz noted that Savannah's April 2016 performance constituted an 11.6 percent increase from the April 2014 total of 266,930 TEUs marked in April 2014 - the year before cargo diversions related to West Coast labor issues.

Griff Lynch, the GPA’s incoming executive director effective July 1, thanked Mr. Foltz for his 12 years of service to the Georgia Ports Authority, and recognized this would be Foltz' last board meeting.

"Under Curtis' leadership, the GPA has reached major milestones, with the start of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, important on-terminal infrastructure improvements and a 32 percent expansion in business - moving from 2.8 million TEUs in 2010 to more than 3.7 million TEUs last calendar year," Mr. Lynch said. "I look forward to working with Chairman Allgood and the rest of the GPA board to continue that string of success."

Congressman Buddy Carter presents outgoing GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz (left) with a U.S. flag that has flown over the capitol in Washington D.C. Carter recognized Mr. Foltz' service to the state of Georgia during his final board meeting before stepping down June 30.
Photo/Georgia Ports Authority

Puerto Rico: Crowley to Invest $20 Million in San Juan Terminal

Crowley Puerto Rico Services announced May 21 it had executed an a $21 million construction contract for improvements and upgrades at the Isla Grande terminal it leases from the Puerto Rico Ports Authority in San Juan.

The work entails expanding the terminal’s reefer container capacity, paving 15 acres to accommodate container stacking; installing a new electrical substation to provide power for three new ship-to-shore gantry cranes, constructing a seven-lane terminal exit gate, and installing hardware for a new terminal operating software system.

The contract is the third associated with Crowley’s investment in its Isla Grande terminal in preparation for the arrival next year of the first of its two LNG-powered, Commitment Class con/ro ships now under construction in Pascagoula (MS).

"We are very pleased to have this final contract awarded as part of the transformation of our terminal at Isla Grande," said Jose "Pache" Ayala, Crowley vice president, Puerto Rico. "The improvements being made to the terminal will provide customers with faster gate times and overall shorter turn times for truckers in and out of the terminal. The overall improved efficiency we will be able to achieve will further enhance the excellent service our customers already receive."

The latest contract follows a $48.5 million construction contract in 2015 for a new pier at the Isla Grande terminal. That investment by Crowley came after reaching agreement with the ports authority on a 30-year lease extension for the Isla Grande property. It includes the development of a new 900-foot-long by 114-foot-wide concrete pier and all associated dredging for the Commitment Class ships. It also includes the construction and installation of three new ship-to-shore container gantry cranes under a separate contract.

"This contract represents the last major contract to be awarded in our half-a-billion-dollar investment in our Puerto Rico Jones Act service," said John Hourihan, Crowley senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico. "With construction of both Commitment Class ships well underway, dredging at Isla Grande completed and pile driving operations associated with the pier ongoing, we are definitely beginning to see the results of our investment taking shape."

Crowley has served the Puerto Rico market from the 75-acre Isla Grande terminal since 1954. The company has more than 250 Puerto Rico employees.

Isla Grande terminal in the Port of San Juan


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