Following a record-setting month of container volumes achieved in May, the SC Ports Authority Board of Directors has adopted 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.
“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,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome.
Apart from accepting the offer from Palmetto Alliance Property Group for the Port of Port Royal in the amount of $15.42 million, the Board also approved a contract for routine berth dredging at Columbus Street and Union Pier terminals.