Ports Authority allocates $2.7M for inland port

By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com
Published Oct. 16, 2013

The S.C. Inland Port is now open for business in Greer, as BMW’s commercial operations started this week, S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome said.

The S.C. Ports Authority board of directors unanimously approved an additional $2.7 million in funding for the inland port project during its monthly meeting Tuesday.

S.C. Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome said the inland port in Greer is open for business. (Photo/Provided) S.C. Ports Authority CEO Jim Newsome said the inland port in Greer is open for business. (Photo/Provided)

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The additional funding was needed to fund unforeseen construction costs, arising from unknown typography, rain delays and fast tracking the project.

Newsome said he continues to believe the facility, which will link the Upstate to Charleston’s docks through overnight rail services via Norfolk Southern, will become a “major distribution hub” over time.

Upstate economic development groups have had more than 200 inquiries from companies about using the inland port facilities, 22 of which have visited the site in Greer, said Jack Ellenberg, senior vice president of economic development and projects.

“The inland port adds another intermodal rail in the Southeast,” Newsome said. “Greer was not previously on the map for intermodal rail.”

Newsome said other companies have expressed interest in building facilities near the inland port like BMW. Newsome did not name any specific ones.

Stemming from conversations in January 2012, Newsome said the inland port has been quickly executed. Construction is scheduled to finish by the end of the year after nearly three months of rainy days delayed progress.

In addition to BMW, all other cargo is on schedule to be commercially operational during November.

The Ports Authority spent roughly $43.9 million on the inland port, which includes the most recent allocation. The construction is estimated to cost $51.4 million. Norfolk Southern contributed the remaining funds.

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