Trump Supports Charleston Deepening Project


The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has announced that it will receive US$138 million in funding from President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget for its 52-foot Charleston Harbour Deepening Project.

Bill Stern, SCPA Board Chair, commented: “We are grateful to the Trump Administration for recognizing the value of the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project with an outstanding allocation in this year’s budget.

“Federal funding at such a high level reflects the importance of our project to the nation and supports the continued progress of construction to 52 feet.”

Dr Asaf Ashar discusses deepning projects and US terminals in a recent Port Technology technical paper

In addition to receiving funding as part of the 2020 Budget, inclusion in the President’s list of projects to receive federal investment also makes the Charleston deepening initiative eligible for direct appropriations by Congress through the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

According to a statement, the benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) of the project has increased due to a significant growth in container volume for SCPA, beating previous estimates for the authority’s performance.



Jim Newsome, SCPA President and CEO, said: “The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project is a strategic priority for South Carolina, and it will be a driver of economic development across our state and region well into the future.

“By 2021 SCPA and the state will have invested more than $2 billion in port infrastructure to support the booming growth of both population and manufacturing in the region.

“Our deepening project answers the need for a south-eastern port to handle 14,000 to 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent container unit (TEU) vessels drafting 50 feet or more without significant depth and other navigation restrictions.”



The expansion of the Charleston Harbour Entrance Channel commenced in February 2018, after SCPA was awarded $260 million for two dredging contracts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

The deepening project for the harbour leading up to Wando Welch Terminal, SCPA’s biggest container facility, is expected to be completed by 2021.

Cover image courtesy of Gage Skidmore

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