South Carolina proposed terminal seeks funding

Image credit: South Carolina Ports Authority Image credit: South Carolina Ports Authority

The South Carolina Ports Authority is seeking $5m from the South Carolina General Assembly for a future terminal in Jasper County, located in the south of the US state.

According to Jim Newsome, president and chief executive of the ports authority, the new terminal (a 1,500-acre port) will be needed once the Port of Charleston hits capacity.

The facility is estimated to cost $5bn, with the timeline for port building unknown.

The money sought for the fiscal year beginning July 1 would fund continued permitting and design work for the terminal, which is a joint project for the South Carolina Ports Authority with the Georgia Ports Authority - which will in 2018-19 provide a matching $5m, Mr Newsome said to a South Carolina House of Representatives budget-writing panel.

According to the president and chief executive, when the third phase of the Port of Charleston’s Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. Terminal, a container facility, is finished (with the completion date currently anticipated to be 2032), the Port will be unable to grow any further.

"That's the last container terminal capacity in Charleston,” he explained.

“If the Southeast is going to grow, it will eventually need this facility - not overnight, but long term. We need to work on this now."

Funds for Jasper County port preparation were not included in the Governor of South Carolina Henry McMaster’s budget proposal that was released on January 8.

Significant roadworks will be required to get to the terminal, but it is unknown how much taxpayers will ultimately be asked to pay, South Carolina ports spokeswoman Erin Dhand told Charleston’s The Post and Courier newspaper.

Phase one of the Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. Terminal, which is currently being built on the former Navy Base in North Charleston, has a planned opening of 2020.

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