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Federal government awards JAXPORT additional $93 million for harbor deepening

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Federal government awards JAXPORT additional $93 million for harbor deepening. Image: JAXPORT
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Government fully funds its portion of deepening through Blount Island with largest single investment of federal funding in JAXPORT history.

The federal government allocated $93 million for the next phase of deepening the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet from its current depth of 40 feet. A milestone for the project and a major victory for JAXPORT, the federal government has now fully funded the government’s portion of deepening through JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.

Of the total $93 million investment, $57,543,000 is included in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fiscal Year 20 Work Plan, and an additional $35,457,000 is allocated in the A Budget for America’s Future – President’s Budget FY 2021.

“This is a significant win for Jacksonville and as I have said before, the continued support from our state and federal partners demonstrates the strength of JAXPORT’s future,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “We are grateful for the continued growth under the leadership of CEO Eric Green. JAXPORT is Florida’s number one container port and as we continue to expand its capabilities, we know we will see even more jobs and economic growth.”

“This is the first time JAXPORT has ever received funding in the President’s budget, which speaks volumes about the significance of this project to the Southeast U.S. and the nation,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green. “We are extremely grateful to our federal, state and local partners, as well as the dedication and leadership of the JAXPORT Board, for their steadfast support of our growth and the 138,000 jobs Jacksonville’s seaport generates in Florida.”

Upon completion of the deepening project, the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island will feature a vessel turning basin and have the ability to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels. In November, the U.S Department of Transportation awarded JAXPORT a $20 million grant to enable the facility to accommodate more containers on an expanded footprint.

To date, the federal government, the state of Florida, JAXPORT, and port tenant SSA Jacksonville have contributed or pledged a combined total of more than $394 million dollars toward the cost of the $484 million deepening project, the first project of its kind to include funding from a private business.

Harbor deepening is divided into four segments, contracts A-D, which make up the full length of the 13-mile federally authorized project.

The current funding model covers the project’s first 11 miles through Blount Island (contracts A, B and C). Contractors for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are scheduled to complete the first 5.5 miles in spring 2020, marking the halfway point for this portion of the project.

Harbor deepening began in February 2018 and is anticipated to be complete in 2023, two years ahead of its original schedule, based on continued funding from all partners.

The 47-foot depth is required to accommodate more cargo aboard the larger ships calling on JAXPORT from destinations throughout Asia and other world markets through both the Panama and Suez canals. Asian container trade is an important part of JAXPORT’s container cargo business, up 55 percent in the last five years.

Supporters of this funding include President Donald Trump; Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James; the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT); Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; Congressmen John Rutherford, Al Lawson, Michael Waltz, Ted Yoho, Daniel Webster, Neal Dunn, Brian Mast; Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio; and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.

JAXPORT is Florida’s largest container port and the nation’s second-busiest vehicle handling port. An economic impact study finds that the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project will create or protect 15,000 jobs and return $24 for every $1 invested in the project.

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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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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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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