Image courtesy of the South Carolina Ports Authority.
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has been awarded $49 million in funding for the Charleston Harbour Deepening Project, which aims to deepen the Wando Welch Terminal to 52 feet to allow larger containerships entry.
SCPA Board Chair, Bill Stern, commented: “This funding is great news for continued construction activities and timely awarding of dredging contracts for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project.
“The Port is appreciative to the Trump Administration, Governor McMaster, Senators Graham and Scott and the entire South Carolina congressional delegation for their coordinated efforts to ensure the highest possible funding for the project was included in the Corps Work Plan.”
Construction to deepen the Charleston Harbour Entrance Channel began in February following contracts totalling $260 million being awarded to the USACE.
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SCPA president and CEO, Jim Newsome, said: “The deepening of the Charleston Harbor is one of the most important strategic priorities for the State of South Carolina.
“The Southeast needs a 52-foot harbor to efficiently handle the large container ships now calling the East Coast.
“There are four other harbors on our coast at 50 feet of depth, and such large container ships call a network of ports.
“The deepening of major U.S. ports is a significant element of the overall investment thesis across the port industry nationwide, and by 2021 SCPA and the State will have invested over $2 billion in port infrastructure to support the growth of both population and manufacturing in South Carolina and the Southeast region.”
The USACE work plan funding will be combined with a $50 million loan from the State of South Carolina to enable to deepening project to be completed by 2021 — in a record construction period of only 40 months.
With the strong likelihood of 18,000 TEU ships calling at East Coast ports in 2019, the South Carolina Ports Authority views the deepening of the harbour to be of the upmost importance.