Appoints two to regional port authority

Governor Edward G. Rendell said that deepening the Delaware River at the Port of Philadelphia will expand export opportunities and ensure Southport Development’s success.

“Pennsylvania already is the nation’s 10th largest exporting state and when we finish the deepening project the Port of Philadelphia will thrive,” Governor Rendell said. “Since we announced in May that the deepening project is moving forward, there has been massive private sector interest in developing a new shipping terminal here.

“By this time next year I expect will we will be announcing what the next generation of shipping in Philadelphia will look like,” the Governor said.

“Several terminal operators and major international shipping lines have expressed interest developing a new state-of-the-art container terminal at Southport.

“I am convinced that a strategic private investment in the port now will pay huge dividends not just in the near future but for many generations to come,” he said. “The commonwealth is partnering with the regional port authority and its terminal operators to upgrade and expand existing facilities. I am committed to developing the Port of Philadelphia so it can compete on the world stage.”

Governor Rendell said one recent study showed that developing Southport into a major container terminal could create nearly 4,000 new jobs. He noted that in Jacksonville, FL, Mitsui/TraPac recently signed a 30-year lease with Jaxport and committed to construct a new $220 million state-of-the-art container terminal. Once complete, Mitsui/Trapac will pay a throughput container fee in addition to rent.

“Jacksonville is not alone,” he said. “All over the United States, shipping line’s terminal operators are eagerly working to invest in port facilities.

There is no reason that can’t happen here. The timing for the development of Southport is ripe.”

During the press conference, the Governor announced two new appointments to the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority: former chief of staff John Estey will serve as chairman of the PRPA and attorney Cliff Haines will serve as a PRPA board member.

“John and Cliff have many years of diverse experience that will help steer the port authority through this exciting expansion,” Governor Rendell said.

“I want to thank Brian Preski for his leadership of the port authority, which has helped to get us to this historic point,” the Governor said.

“Under his leadership, the port authority saw a 15% increase in cargo and he brought us to the point where we are finally ready to deepen the channel to continue growing the operation here.”

In May, Governor Rendell announced that after more than two decades of debate, the project to deepen the Delaware River channel in the Port of Philadelphia from 40 to 45 feet is now moving forward under the Philadelphia

Regional Port Authority’s leadership. (PRNewswire-USNewswire)