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State Invests $300 Million In Port Of Philadelphia Improvements

11/23/2016
A Capital Investment Program at the Port of Philadelphia will see the state invest more than $300 million in the Port’s infrastructure, warehousing, and equipment. This initiative, which will start next year and continue through 2020, will double container capacity, position the Port for future growth, create thousands of jobs, improve efficiency, and increase tax revenues.

“This capital investment program will give the Port of Philadelphia the tools it needs to improve its competitive position and create thousands of family-sustaining, middle class jobs while increasing state revenues,” said Governor Tom Wolf.

According to the Mayor’s Office “these improvements will result in doubling container capacity at the Port, provide increased breakbulk (non-containerized) cargo capacity, and bring a substantial increase in automobile-handling capacity. A total direct job increase of 70 percent is projected from the current level of 3,124 to a projected 5,378 direct jobs.

About $200 million of the Capital Investment Program will be invested in the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port of Philadelphia’s largest maritime facility. These improvements will include four new electric post-Panamax container cranes, the relocation of warehouses to facilitate container growth and the construction of new ones, and a deeper 45-foot depth at the terminal’s marginal berths, to match the new 45-foot depth of the Delaware River’s main channel. Electrification throughout the terminal will also be modernized to support electrification of existing diesel cranes and cold ironing capabilities at the terminal (the ability to power without the need for the vessels to burn fuel while docked).

Astro Holdings, Inc., the Tenant of the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, will also purchase one of the Post-Panamax container cranes for the terminal, as well as dedicating significant privately-owned port acreage, in the form of the Holt-owned 40-acre “Publicker” site located next to the Packer Avenue facility, for container growth through Packer Avenue Marine Terminal.

The improvements at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port’s primary container facility, will occur at about the time that the Delaware Main Channel Deepening Project, which is deepening the Port’s main shipping channel from 40 to 45 feet, will be completed. The larger, deeper-draft container vessels that will be able to reach the Port because of the deepening project (as well as a recently improved Panama Canal) will now find a terminal that is especially prepared for their needs.

The Ports Automobile Import/Export facility, which currently processes 150,000 cars and employs more than 300 direct workers will also benefit by receiving about $90 million of the Governor’s Capital Investment program. Improvements to the Port’s automobile-handling operation will include the addition of 155 paved and fenced acres above the flood plain at the Port’s Southport site; the conversion of the former seaplane hangar at Southport into a second auto-processing site; enhancements at the main auto-processing site at Pier 98 Annex; and the establishment of a framework that provides flexibility for use of the land the Port needs for containers and automobiles, as determined by market demands.

Tioga Marine Terminal will be the third beneficiary of the State Capital Investment Program at the Port. $12 million has been earmarked for improvements to the main on-dock warehouse that has been successfully handling and processing Brazilian wood pulp cargoes since 2014. A second warehouse at Tioga will be converted into a food-grade warehouse, allowing the Port increase its wood pulp volumes to meet the demands of Pennsylvania companies requiring wood pulp. Improved rail access and the purchase of a second mobile harbor crane will also add capacity for Tioga Marine Terminal.

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