By Matt Tomsic
Published April 16, 2013
The first phase of the Jasper Ocean Terminal could be completed in 13 years, and the terminal is expected to have a positive value of more than $1 billion after its first two decades of operations, officials said today during a meeting of the terminal’s Joint Project Office.
Members from the project office met in Charleston to discuss reports prepared by Moffatt & Nichol. The project office is charged with developing a new port terminal in Jasper County and consists of members from Georgia and South Carolina, which will both run the port.
Moffatt & Nichol staff said demand would make the terminal viable in 2025, but the first phase of the project probably won’t be completed until 2026.
The project office should submit its permit application this year for the new terminal, which would be in Jasper County on the South Carolina side of the border, staff recommended. Capital commitments wouldn’t begin until the end of the Army Corps of Engineers permit approval process, which is expected to take eight years.
Moffatt & Nichol also presented figures on the present value of the terminal, which includes development expenses. The terminal has a value of $1.3 billion after the terminal’s 24th year of operation, and that value could climb as high as $3.3 billion under an alternative plan that accelerates each phase’s completion and considers better than anticipated cargo volumes and other criteria.
Moffatt & Nichol also found that value could fall to $50 million under some “very nasty assumptions,” which include a failure by the United States to address its infrastructure needs for the next 20 years. Under all scenarios, though, the value is positive, according to staff.