S.C. Ports Earmarks $80 Million to Develop New Capacity Charleston Container Traffic Up 7% in May

June 20, 2008

CHARLESTON, SC –  June 19, 2008 – The Board of the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) this week approved a $160-million budget, projecting more than $100 million in capital spending and a slight increase in container traffic for the coming fiscal year.

Approval of the financial plan comes on the heels strong results in the Port of Charleston.  In May, the SCSPA handled 157,553 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in Charleston, up 7% from the same month last year and up 14% from the previous month.

More than $80 million of the anticipated capital spending in the next 12 months will go directly to projects adding new capacity to the SCSPA’s port facilities, primarily in Charleston.  Progress and spending is also anticipated on development of a new joint port facility on the Savannah River in Jasper County.

For the SCSPA’s 2009 fiscal year which begins July 1, operating revenues are expected to increase 1.63% to $160.4 million and pier containers are projected to increase just slightly (0.5%) from the current year.  The number of employees is projected to increase by nine to 593.  Jobs could be added in Port Police and operations, along with a new environmental affairs position.

The SCSPA Board also approved $100.3 million in capital spending in FY09 for capacity enhancements and terminal improvements. The largest allocations of the plan are $56.2 million for the new container terminal at the former Navy Base and $24.7 million for container yard expansion and improvements.

In other action, the Board approved a $461,000 contract to Banks Construction of North Charleston to pave a two-acre parcel at Columbus Street Terminal that was formerly part of the right-of-way for the old Cooper River bridges. The Board also approved to allot $200,000 for maintenance berth dredging at the Port of Georgetown.

For more information:
 Byron D. Miller
 Director, Public Relations
 S.C. State Ports Authority
 [email protected]