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Congress, President Trump approve $138 million for Charleston Harbor Deepening Project

The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project reached a monumental milestone  with President Donald Trump signing the FY2020 Energy and Water Appropriations bill into law

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Congress, President Trump approve $138 million for Charleston Harbor Deepening Project
Congress, President Trump approve $138 million for Charleston Harbor Deepening Project. Image: South Carolina Ports Authority

The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project reached a monumental milestone  with President Donald Trump signing the FY2020 Energy and Water Appropriations bill into law, officially greenlighting $138 million for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Projectopens in a new window.

President Trump includedopens in a new window the $138 million in the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget earlier this year, making the project eligible for direct appropriations by Congress for the first time through the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

Both the Senate and the House voted to approve the appropriations bill this week as part of the FY2020 funding package, and President Donald Trump signed it into law today.

This enormous step forward means the project is fully funded to completion and on track to achieve a 52-foot depth in 2021.

“This huge infusion of federal funding reflects the importance of ensuring South Carolina has a deep harbor capable of handling mega container ships,” S.C. Ports Authority Board Chairman Bill Stern said. “We are grateful to the Trump Administration for recognizing the value a 52-foot depth in Charleston Harbor brings to the Southeast. Thank you to our Congressional delegation, Governor McMaster, and the state and local leaders who have supported this critical project and worked tirelessly to complete it.”

S.C. Ports Authorityopens in a new window President and CEO Jim Newsome said a 52-foot deep harbor will accommodate 19,000 twenty-foot equivalent container unit (TEU) vessels drafting 50 feet or more without navigation or tidal restrictions.

“The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project is one of the most significant infrastructure projects in S.C. history,” Newsome said. “A 52-foot deep harbor will ensure we remain competitive for decades to come as bigger ships bring more cargo to S.C. Ports. A thriving port drives economic development and attracts business to the state, which ultimately creates high-paying jobs for South Carolinians. Port operations generate a $63.4 billion economic impactopens in a new window on the state each year and create 1 in 10 S.C. jobs.”

In 2012, the S.C. General Assembly set asideopens in a new window $300 million, the full estimated state share of the deepening construction costs. This decision was invaluable in showing the federal government that South Carolina is fully invested in deepening Charleston Harbor.

The project also previously securedopens in a new window $108 million in federal appropriations from the Army Corps of Engineers’ work plans, as well as an additional $50 million loan from the state. Construction began in early 2018.

“We have been working diligently on this project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineersopens in a new window for 10 years and it is great to see construction progressing. This impressive progress would not be possible without the unwavering support from the S.C. Legislature, who set aside funding years ago,” S.C. Ports COO Barbara Melvin said. “Today, we are incredibly grateful to our Congressional delegation and the Trump Administration for funding this vital project to completion.”

Work is ongoing to deepen the Entrance Channel to 54 feet; deepen a stretch from the Lower Harbor up to Wando Welch Terminalopens in a new window to 52 feet; and widen the turning basin of the Wando River from 1,400 feet to 1,650 feet.

The next contract will achieve a 52-foot depth from Charleston Harbor up the Cooper River to the future Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminalopens in a new window in North Charleston, set to open in 2021. The new Leatherman terminal will double port capacity at full build-out.

“The importance of completing the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project cannot be overstated,” Newsome said. “We are grateful to all our partners, elected leaders and teammates who are making this a reality.”

Accolades from elected leaders:

“For decades, South Carolina’s ports system has been the competitive advantage that sets our state’s economy apart, and this $138 million investment in the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project ensures that it will remain an advantage for decades more. This news gives every South Carolinian reason to celebrate. Companies around the world will take notice of Team South Carolina’s commitment to keeping our infrastructure on the cutting edge, which gives them more confidence in investing here and creating even more jobs for our people.” — Gov. Henry McMaster

“I’m incredibly appreciative of President Trump, as well as my House and Senate colleagues, for making this happen. The $138 million we secured is one of the most important milestones we have met. It will help keep us on track toward project completion. … Charleston Harbor Deepening is about jobs — both today and in the future. The Port is the backbone of our state’s economy and responsible for over $60 billion in economic activity. Today’s news ensures our Port will continue to benefit South Carolina and American business in perpetuity.” — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham

“I am pleased the bi-partisan appropriations agreement contains $138 million for the deepening of the Charleston Harbor. This funding is critical to help the Port of Charleston become the deepest harbor on the East Coast, allowing post-Panamax vessels to call on the Port of Charleston any time of day. The Port of Charleston is vital to the economy of South Carolina. I am a huge supporter of the Port and I will continue to support efforts to ensure it continues to thrive.” — Congressman Jim Clyburn

“I am grateful to have worked alongside my colleagues in Congress to fight for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project. The Port of Charleston supports thousands of businesses and jobs in our state and this federal funding is critical to ensuring the project remains on track, benefiting South Carolina’s economy for years to come. I appreciate President Trump for recognizing the importance of this project and the critical role it plays.” — Congressman Joe Wilson

“I’m proud to stand behind a bipartisan government funding bill that invests in critical Lowcountry priorities like the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project, averts another shutdown, and fully funds the government for the rest of the fiscal year. The Port of Charleston is a driver of economic development across our entire state and region. This funding will allow the Port of Charleston to reach its full potential and continue to facilitate economic growth across the Lowcountry.” — Congressman Joe Cunningham

Container Terminal

CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal launches new direct services to Europe and Indian Subcontinent

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CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal launches new direct services to Europe and Indian Subcontinent. Image: Abu Dhabi Terminal
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CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, the first overseas greenfield project of COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited, has announced the start of a direct, weekly service to several ports across Europe and the Indian Subcontinent.

Operating from Abu Dhabi Ports’ flagship deep-water port, Khalifa Port, where the terminal was established as part of a 35-year agreement with CSP, and serving as a regional base for COSCO SHIPPING Ports’ global network of 37 ports, the new direct service will be served by a fleet of eight vessels on rotation, ranging in capacity between 10,000 to 13,000 TEU.

Direct exports from Abu Dhabi to the ports of Rotterdam, Hamburg, London, Antwerp, and Le Havre, will consist primarily of polymers while returning vessels will carry a mix of general and project cargo imports. The ports of Karachi, Nhava Sheva, and Mundra will also benefit from the new service.

Naser Al Busaeedi, Deputy CEO, CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, said: “More than a year on since CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal officially launched, we are now well-positioned to bring our direct service offering to a global audience.

“Our new services will significantly increase the movement of cargo exports and imports between Abu Dhabi, Europe and India, providing our customers with solutions to tackle their international shipment needs, as well as the opportunity to target new markets.”

Mohamed Eidha Tannaf Al Menhali, Acting Director, Khalifa Port, said: “This new dedicated service marks an important strategic step in Abu Dhabi Ports’ vision to transform Khalifa Port’s end-to-end logistics capability.

“The ability to connect with some of the world’s most important maritime hubs in Europe and the Northwest Indian Subcontinent will enhance Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a leading facilitator and enabler of global trade in the 21st century.

“Not only does this announcement bolster our existing partnership with COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited, but it also ensures our other customers will be well positioned to broaden their horizons by engaging with new trading and logistics opportunities all around the world.”

Since its inception, CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal has facilitated the local manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics sectors to not only flourish within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, but to also expand their reach across markets in the Middle East, Africa, and beyond.

The direct services are expected to lend additional support to customers across the region and clients of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, providing faster transit and competitive rates for their import and export activities.

With expectations that the new offering will increase CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal’s weekly handling of cargo, the development is also expected to help add more feeder services from CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal.

In April 2020, on the passing of the first anniversary of its soft launch, CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal’s AED 1.1 billion deep-water semi-automated container terminal marked several milestones including the handling of over 540,000 TEU.

The close of April also saw the terminal achieve more than 1 million hours without lost-injury time, a feat that was realised thanks to CSP’s adoption of several global HSSE best practises including strong compliance with health and safety protocols within the working environment, and a drive to continuously improve safety performance across the entirety of the organisation.

Forging ahead, CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal will continue to monitor the performance of its direct service to Europe, along with other service patterns, and based on market conditions and business requirements, adjustments to vessel deployment, port calls, and even the launch of other regional services will be considered.

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Maritime

Ports of Auckland gets consent to deepen Auckland’s shipping channel

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Ports of Auckland gets consent to deepen Auckland’s shipping channel. Image: Pixabay
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Ports of Auckland has today been granted consent to deepen Auckland’s shipping channel.

The consent allows the channel to be deepened from 12.5 metres to between 14 metres and 14.2 metres. It safeguards Auckland’s vital international supply line by allowing larger container ships to enter Auckland’s port, such as 366-metre-long New Panamax vessels with a maximum draft of 15.2 metres. Tidal windows will be used to make best use of the natural water depth and keep dredging to a minimum.

Ports of Auckland’s Chief Executive Tony Gibson said “The COVID-19 lockdown highlighted the essential role Auckland’s port plays in the economy. A deeper channel will ensure Auckland’s port can continue that essential role for decades. By allowing larger ships to reach the port, it will also reduce carbon emissions and the cost of transporting Auckland’s freight.”

The consent process was unusual because Ports of Auckland asked for the application to be publicly notified even though it was not required, so people could have their say on the project. Over two hundred submissions were received with the main concern raised being the disposal of dredged material.

Ports of Auckland acknowledges that this is a genuine concern and is committed to working with key submitters to look for ways to reduce or even eliminate the need for sea disposal.

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Maritime

MPA launches six next-generation patrol craft to grow its frontline capabilities

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MPA launches six next-generation patrol craft to grow its frontline capabilities. Image: MPA
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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore launched six next-generation patrol craft to enhance its frontline capabilities to ensure navigational safety, and enhance the protection of the marine environment in the Port of Singapore. Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, graced the occasion at Marina South Pier this morning.
Next-Generation Patrol Craft
These new 17-metre patrol craft will be equipped with the Intelligent Port Marine System to enhance MPA’s seaward capabilities in conducting enforcement patrols and responding to marine emergencies. With predictive capabilities using both real-time and historical data, MPA’s next-generation patrol craft can carry out targeted enforcement and response mitigation. Integrating data analytics with onboard surveillance, navigation and communication systems also improves information relay from the craft to shore-based command centres and increases MPA port inspectors’ situational awareness of ground activities.
The new patrol craft possess new surveillance capabilities such as the multi-sensor marine thermal cameras, chemical gas detectors and drones. Each patrol craft also has a rescue boat fitted with a man overboard recovery system and towing capabilities for small craft to support search and rescue operations. Equipped with a dispersant spray system and containment booms, the patrol craft can also be deployed to respond to oil spills.
The six new patrol craft replace the existing fleet of patrol craft, which operated between 2012 and 2020.
New Patrol Launches
In addition, MPA has deployed two new patrol launches for flag and port state control inspections, and to conduct checks on bunkering and private wharves activities. These 15-metre patrol launches will also support enforcement patrols and response efforts during emergencies.
Captain Kevin Wong, MPA’s Port Master, said, “The next-generation patrol craft and launches enhance our incident response capabilities and improve the operational effectiveness of our officers in conducting their work in the Port of Singapore. MPA consistently explores and adopts new technology to meet our operational needs and improve our frontline capabilities. The feedback we received from our officers were integral to the design of these vessels.”
MPA’s next-generation patrol craft will make a public appearance at the Maritime Sailpast segment of National Day Parade 2020 on 9 August. It will join MPA’s hydrographic survey vessel, Discovery, as well as 11 other vessels from the Republic of Singapore Navy, Police Coast Guard and Singapore Civil Defence Force in an expression of unity among maritime agencies to keep Singapore’s waters safe and supply chains secure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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