|The post-Panamax ship Axel Maersk docked at the S.C. State Ports Authority in Charleston earlier this year. (Photo/S.C. State Ports Authority)|
Published Aug. 21, 2013
The S.C. State Ports Authority’s operating revenues and earnings were up for the last fiscal year as the board forges ahead with three major development projects.
Operating revenues were roughly $140 million for the 12-month period, ended June 30, up 7% from the previous fiscal year. Operating expenses were $127.77 million, leaving operating earnings of $12.72 million, a net gain of $5.45 million from the previous year.
The port’s board plans to focus on maintaining a solid financial position during the next several years, said ports authority President and CEO Jim Newsome.
The ports authority is now two years into its 10-year, $1.3 billion capital plan that includes it plans to dredge Charleston Harbor, complete the S.C. Inland Port in Greer and finish constructing a container terminal in North Charleston.
The roughly $47 million S.C. Inland Port in Greer is set to open in October after rain delayed the opening by about one month. The inland port will link the Upstate to Charleston’s docks through an overnight rail services.
Work progressed at the port’s future container terminal at the former Charleston naval base. The first phase is set to be completed next spring. Once completed, the $525 million terminal will boost container capacity in the Port of Charleston by 50%, the board said.
The Obama Administration gave the Army Corps of Engineers a 2015 deadline to finish its study and determine whether the Charleston Harbor should be deepened. The project is estimated to cost around $350 million.
“Given our aggressive capital investments over the next several years, it is essential to maintain a solid financial position and a steady stream of funds toward these important projects,” Newsome said.