On Friday, November 22, officials from Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), terminal operator SSA Marine and U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, broke ground on a new $238.7 million international container terminal at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.
The project is a public-private partnership with support from the federal government, the state of Florida and the City of Jacksonville, as well as private partner SSA Marine.
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Notably, the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal is an expansion of SSA’s current leasehold at Blount Island and includes upgrades in infrastructure and equipment. Adding to this, the facility aims to offer deep-water berthing space to accommodate larger fully loaded containerships from Asia.
Congressman Ted Yoho said that
My team and I have worked tirelessly over the last 8 years to support and grow the JAXPORT footprint. While the importance of the economic engine that exists as a result of JAXPORT cannot be overstated, it is also important to remember the critical importance that this port and region plays for our national defense. Continued investments such as this will not only provide reliable and well-paying jobs but will ensure that the maritime industry and the many purposes it serves here at home are secure.
This comes after The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) Board of Directors approved a long-term agreement with terminal operator SSA Marine for the development and operation of a $238.7 million international container terminal at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal in March.
According to the port, the SSA Marine is to expand to almost 80 acres, with the option to expand to 120 acres when more space becomes available.
It is further added that operations will continue throughout the redevelopment, which is expected to be completed in 2023, coinciding with the completion of the federal project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet.
The Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project includes the construction of a vessel turning basin that will allow larger vessels calling on the terminal to turn at Blount Island.
Adding to this, phased yard improvements are in progress at the terminal that will allow the facility to accommodate up to 700,000 TEUs annually. Also, berth upgrades are expected to be completed in 2021 and will allow the terminal to simultaneously accommodate two Post-Panamax vessels.
Earlier in November, Jaxport has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation with a $20 million grant, to rebuild more than 100 acres of the existing terminal pavement at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal. The funding came through the $238 million plan between Jaxport and their close partner SSA Marine.
The funds were provided by Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant program, a program which gives the opportunity to build and repair critical pieces of freight and passenger transportation networks.
Jaxport’s Authority noted that the upgrades will focus on increasing the efficiency of the port and extend terminal’s container capacity. When the project will be completed, is is estimated that the space of the port will be able to accommodate and manage about 425,000 TEU per year.