The South Carolina Port Authority (SCPA) has approved a $319 million spending plan for fiscal year 2021, which includes funding for Phase One of the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal.
In a statement, the SCPA said the terminal is one course to open in March 2021 and will be the first new container terminal to open in the US since 2009.
“The opening of the Leatherman Terminal will mark an extension of the successful container operations concept at the Wando Terminal with the transfer of four large ship services to that location at its opening, while leveraging SCPA’s existing workforce,” Jim Newsome, SCPA CEO, said.
The fiscal plan projects that the SCPA will handle more than 1.24 million TEU between 1 July, 2020 and 30 June, 2021. It includes $264.2 million in operating revenues, which is estimated to generate $81.4 million in operating cash flow.
“We are in the final year of a six-year capital improvement plan,” according to Newsome.
“We are preparing for our major infrastructure projects to come online in 2021, while also continuing to ensure that our port works incredibly well. We have the best team in place to execute our goals.”
The Port of Charleston has been substantially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as all major ports in the US.
Volumes remained steady for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020 compared to the year prior. May volumes were down year-over-year due to the pandemic disrupting global supply chains and temporarily halting operations for many businesses and manufacturers.
Despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Newsome said the long term future of the SCPA remains positive.
“We were on track for another record fiscal year until the pandemic happened,” Newsome said.
“Nevertheless, ports are a long-term business requiring long-term planning. We have great fundamentals as a growing port in the Southeast. We will continue to thrive. Our future is very bright.”
“In the face of great economic challenges, S.C. Ports is maintaining excellent operations and attracting cargo to the Port of Charleston.
“As a world-class port located in the booming Southeast, we plan to continue recruiting and supporting business to enable future investment, jobs and growth in South Carolina.”