Port expansion to create jobs, boost state's economy

Port expansion at the former Navy Base in North Charleston will bring in nearly 720 jobs over a 15-month period. Byron Miller with the South Carolina State Ports Authority says the new container terminal will sit on 280 acres and it’s a major factor in boosting the port’s capacity.
“The new terminal at the former Navy Base is essential to South Carolina’s competitiveness in the future. We haven’t had port expansion here in South Carolina in about 15 years now, meanwhile our neighbors have taken a lot of our business away from us so the new terminal at the Navy Base is absolutely critical to keeping our port competitive in bringing new jobs to the state in the future,” says Miller.
Preparations for the new site, which will officially open in 2014, began about two years ago. In February, the Ports Authority requested bids from companies to construct the containment wall. The winners of the bid, $55 million, were Charleston-based Cape Romain Contractors and Massachusetts-based Cashman. The containment wall project will create a $78.4 million economic impact in the Charleston region during the 15-month construction. As the project will boost the port’s capacity and business, the entire state will see benefits as well.
“International trade is absolutely vital to our entire state economy, we have 700 companies in every county of the state who rely on the port to reach their customers overseas or to source supplies and materials that they use in manufacturing, so an effective port is a vital part of day-to-day business in our state, which means 280,000 jobs around South Carolina,” says Miller.
Construction will begin this summer where crews will dredge, install  and construct the new terminal.