States Fund $15M Study for Southern Port

South Carolina and Georgia will spend about $15 million during the next three years on studies for a joint $4.5 billion container ship terminal to be built along the state line.

📅   Tue July 05, 2016 - Southeast Edition
Bruce Smith - ASSOCIATED PRESS


South Carolina and Georgia will spend about $15 million during the next three years on studies for a joint $4.5 billion container ship terminal to be built along the state line.
South Carolina and Georgia will spend about $15 million during the next three years on studies for a joint $4.5 billion container ship terminal to be built along the state line.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) South Carolina and Georgia will spend about $15 million during the next three years on studies for a joint $4.5 billion container ship terminal to be built along the state line.

The board of the Jasper Ocean Terminal approved a $5 million budget for the fiscal year beginning in July and was told that the same amount will be needed the following two years. The port agencies from the two states are splitting the cost of the studies.

The massive 1,500-acre terminal is planned for the South Carolina side of the Savannah River not far downstream from Savannah, Ga., on the other side of the river. The first phase is expected to cost about $2 billion.

The plan is to have the terminal come online in the mid-2020s when port capacity in both Charleston and Savannah begins running out.

Michael Rieger of consulting firm of Moffat and Nichol told the board that three related studies must be completed to get the required permits to build the terminal.

The first, which is under the purview of the Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, deals with the environmental impact of building the terminal. The consulting firm of Atkins North America will assist the Corps in that review.

Meanwhile, the Savannah District of the Army Corps of Engineers will review the impact of building the terminal in an area that is now used to dispose of silt dredged from the river's navigation channel. Another review will deal with how changes made in the river to accommodate the new terminal will affect navigation.

During the coming fiscal year, a notice of intent is expected to be issued, formally telling the public of plans by the terminal board to seek permits for the project. That will mean a website will be launched where the public can get information on the project.

Planners hope that by this time next year, the Corps of Engineers will be ready to start compiling a preliminary environmental impact statement outlining the environmental impact of the planned terminal.