The Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport) has awarded a $48.8m construction contract to Superior Construction Company to make improvements and enable the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal at Blount Island to increase capacity.

Upon completion of the project in 2024, the SSA Marine facility will accommodate up to 500,000 teu annually, a 150% increase over the facility’s current throughput. The expansion will grow Jaxport’s total teu-throughput to nearly 2m teu a year, an increase of more than 40%.

The construction contract covers the first seven of eight phases—or 31.2 hectares—of the total $72m, 37.6-hectare capacity expansion project. Terminal upgrades include densified pavement to stack containers and new facility gates and entryways to enhance traffic flow. Other additions include new electrical and fire suppression systems and LED lighting.

Completing the expansion in phases is planned to allow the terminal to remain open and operational throughout construction.

“We are excited with the progress being made to modernise SSA’s presence at Jaxport, which will enhance our capacity and capabilities in Jacksonville,” said SSA Conventional President Mark Knudsen.

“As completion of the deepening project nears, this facility offers an expanded and highly productive international container terminal that’s ready to handle the growing demands of cargo owners and shipping lines looking to take advantage of the efficiencies the region offers.”

Jaxport and SSA signed a 25-year lease on the terminal in 2019.

“We are grateful for the strong partnership we have with SSA, as well as the support we have received from our partners at the federal government, who together have made this public-private partnership possible,” said Jaxport CEO Eric Green.

“Their investment in our facilities helps maximise the return on the investment of the deepening project for our community and enables us to bring more cargo—and the jobs and businesses that come with it—to Northeast Florida.”

The federal project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 14.3m will be completed through Blount Island in 2022 and includes the construction of a vessel turning basin that will allow larger ships to turn at Blount Island. More than $100m in berth improvements will enable the facility to simultaneously accommodate two post-panamax ships.  

Source: Seatrade Maritime News