The US federal government has allocated USD 93 million for the next phase of deepening the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet from its current depth of 40 feet.
The government has now fully funded the government’s portion of deepening through JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal.
“This is a significant win for Jacksonville and as I have said before, the continued support from our state and federal partners demonstrates the strength of JAXPORT’s future,” Lenny Curry, Jacksonville Mayor, commented.
Upon completion of the deepening project, the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island will feature a vessel turning basin and have the ability to simultaneously accommodate two post-Panamax vessels.
In November 2019, the U.S Department of Transportation awarded JAXPORT a USD 20 million grant to enable the facility to accommodate more containers on an expanded footprint.
To date, the federal government, the state of Florida, JAXPORT, and port tenant SSA Jacksonville have contributed or pledged a combined total of more than USD 394 million dollars toward the cost of the USD 484 million deepening project, the first project of its kind to include funding from a private business.
Harbor deepening began in February 2018 and is anticipated to be completed in 2023, two years ahead of its original schedule, based on continued funding from all partners.
The 47-foot depth is required to accommodate more cargo aboard the larger ships calling on JAXPORT from destinations throughout Asia and other world markets through both the Panama and Suez canals. Asian container trade is an important part of JAXPORT’s container cargo business and recorded an increase of 55 percent in the last five years.
Source: World Maritime News