SC Ports Projects 7% Container Growth, $165.5 Million in Capital Expenditures - SC Ports Authority
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Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
06/17/2015

SC Ports Projects 7% Container Growth, $165.5 Million in Capital Expenditures

Port of Charleston, Inland Port handle unprecedented volumes in May

CHARLESTON, SC – Following a record-setting month of container volumes achieved in May, the SC Ports Authority Board of Directors looked ahead to a favorable 2016 fiscal year today with the adoption of a financial plan that includes continued cargo growth, increased operating revenues and significant capital investments.

The plan projects pier container volume of 1.15 million boxes during FY2016, a 7.2 percent increase over projected totals for the current fiscal year. Strong growth at the Inland Port is also planned, with rail moves expected to increase 6.9 percent over FY2015 projected totals.

Operating revenues in the new fiscal year are planned to increase 9.2 percent, or $17.7 million higher than FY2015 projected revenues.

“This plan builds upon year-over-year success of our port system,” said SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern. “The 2016 fiscal year will be a significant time for our port and state, marked by the receipt of the Chief’s Report this September for our 52-foot harbor deepening project as well as the continued progress of Navy Base Terminal construction and other significant improvements to our existing terminals. We are well-positioned for the future.”

The Board approved capital expenditures of $165.6 million for the fiscal year. The SCPA will invest $73.3 million over the next 12 months in the ongoing construction of the new container terminal on the former Navy Base, which will open in late 2019. Other primary capital expenditures include existing terminal infrastructure improvements, new equipment as well as two new super post-Panamax cranes, and a wharf strengthening project and upgrades for refrigerated cargo at the Wando Welch Terminal.

“I expect SCPA will continue to see strong growth of revenues and handle volumes significantly above the US port market average over the next fiscal year, making this aggressive financial plan achievable,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome. “We currently receive 11 post-Panamax vessel calls weekly, and the improvements to our dockside infrastructure coupled with our harbor deepening project ensure our port offers first-class facilities designed to receive and deliver containers quickly and handle ships fully-loaded with export cargo headed to foreign ports.”

Volume Results and Board Action

The SCPA handled 104,003 boxes in May alone, setting an all-time high for the number of containers handled during one month and pushing fiscal year to date box volume past FY2014 totals.

“Our May volumes are a testament to the quality of service offered by SC Ports – we handle record-setting volume while maintaining reliability for our customers,” Newsome said.

As measured in twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, SCPA has handled 1.7 million TEUs fiscal year to date for a 13.7 percent gain over the same period last year. The port handled 181,809 TEUs last month, an increase of 12.5 percent over May 2014 volumes.

The Inland Port achieved record volumes in May, with 5,845 rail moves completed during the month. The facility has handled 51,671 rail moves fiscal year to date, already surpassing initial volume projections for five years of terminal operations.

Breakbulk volumes in Charleston and Georgetown are 4.3 percent ahead of fiscal year plans, with 1.3 million pier tons handled to date. Charleston moved 82,277 tons last month, and Georgetown handled 40,345 tons in May.?

In Board action, a resolution to accept an offer from Palmetto Alliance Property Group, LLC for the Port of Port Royal for $15.42 million was approved. The transaction will be presented to the SC Department of Administration prior to closing in November.

The Board also approved a contract for routine berth dredging at Columbus Street and Union Pier terminals.

Community Giving Grant Program

The application period for the port’s non-profit grant program, Community Giving, opened this month with opportunities for charitable organizations to apply for $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000grants. Grants are available in four outreach areas: maritime commerce, economic development, environmental awareness and community outreach.

Community Giving was created in 2013 to support programs and initiatives that better the communities where the port operates. Applications are available on the port’s website, www.scspa.com, and are due August 3.

About SC Ports Authority

The South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston, Georgetown and Greer, handling international commerce valued at more than $63 billion annually while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year. For more information, visit www.scspa.com.


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