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Wilmington (NC): Public/Private Partnership to Construct Cold Storage Facility at Port

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The North Carolina Council of State on Feb. 5 voted to approve a lease that gives the go-ahead to a public-private partnership seeking to construct a cold storage facility at the Port of Wilmington. The lease had been approved the week before by the board of the North Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA).

The partnership between the SPA and USA Investco would create a cold storage facility for near-vessel storage of fruits and vegetables, meat and other agriculture products, both imports and exports. The project is contingent upon the award of state and local incentives. The initial 75,000-square-foot facility represents an investment of $13 million and would be expandable to 300,000-square-feet. The project would create 110 jobs.

North Carolina exports more than $3 billion worth of agricultural products each year,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Upgrades to the port at Wilmington will help our farmers and agribusinesses boost that number even higher. The cold storage facility is a vital piece of infrastructure that our producers have needed for a long time, and I’m happy that a public-private partnership will be able to make it a reality.

The SPA must now solidify the final details of the operating agreement with the private partner. Other state and local agencies must consider and vote on incentives necessary for the project.

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