SC Ports’ Leatherman Terminal on track for 2021 opening


Construction of the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal is on schedule for a March 2021 opening, according to the latest from South Carolina Ports (SC Ports).

“We look forward to opening the first phase of the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal, which will be the country’s first container terminal in more than a decade,” S.C. Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “The Leatherman Terminal will enable S.C. Ports to handle more cargo and bigger ships. Businesses depend on us to efficiently move their cargo, and this flow of goods creates more jobs and investment in South Carolina.”

Phase One of the terminal will add 700,000 TEUs of annual throughput capacity to the Port of Charleston. At full build-out, the three-berth terminal will double S.C. Ports current capacity by adding 2.4 million TEUs of throughput capacity.

This signifies the final year of a six-year capital improvement plan, a culmination of years of strategic infrastructure planning and $2 billion in investments.

The Leatherman Terminal complements efforts to modernise Wando Welch Terminal and deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet. These investments will enable S.C. Ports to handle four 14,000-TEU vessels simultaneously in 2021.

The engineering and construction teams reached several key construction milestones in the summer of 2020 as the terminal continues to take shape in North Charleston.

“Construction is progressing very well as we remain on schedule,” Melvin said. “Our engineering project manager Butch Weber describes the site as a small city, and it is truly remarkable to see it all coming together.”

Of the milestones Crews finished the final concrete pour for the wharf deck in July.

Crews finished the final concrete pour for the wharf deck in July.

Five ship-to-shore cranes with 169 feet of lift height above the wharf deck are currently being fabricated by ZPMC in Shanghai, China. The first two cranes are set to arrive in September, with the remaining three arriving in October. ZPMC USA will then assemble and test the cranes ahead of launching operations in the spring.

Twenty-five hybrid rubber-tired gantry cranes are also set to arrive later in 2020.

Foundations have been installed and steel erection work has started for the six-story tall refrigerated container racks, which will enable S.C. Ports to handle more refrigerated and frozen goods for customers.

Vertical construction is nearly 70% complete as many on-site buildings are taking shape, including the terminal operations building, vessel operations building, maintenance building, and the various booths and canopies designed for truck drivers and tenants. Dominion Energy is also stringing power lines via helicopter to connect power to the terminal’s private substation.

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