Construction of a new 41-acre marine terminal for containerized cargo at Port Everglades received the go-ahead from the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.
This is the third major construction project to begin at the South Florida seaport within the past 12 months, including a new 10-acre petroleum terminal and a mega-cruise terminal for the world's largest cruise ships, port offiicials said.
"Our seaport is an economic engine that keeps commerce moving and people employed," said Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter. "Port Everglades is creating jobs at a time when jobs are severely needed,” he continued.
Tran Construction Inc., of Miami, FL, won the bid for the Phases VIIA and VIII cargo terminals in the Southport area at Port Everglades in the amount of $12.3 million including contingencies. Florida state grants are funding up to half of this economic stimulus project.
The terminal is expected to be completed by early 2010. This project will increase cargo yards at Port Everglades by 15% from existing acreage, noted the announcement.
Approximately 227 construction jobs will be supported through the Southport Phase VIIA and VIII project. Once completed, preliminary estimates show that an estimated 254 direct jobs and 14,623 total jobs will be supported by the new cargo terminal, which will result in more than $494 million in personal income. Business activity is projected to reach $1.4 billion annually, with more than $45 million generated in state and local taxes.
"The new containerized cargo terminal is part of the Port's Master/Vision Plan. The Plan also includes future near-dock rail for efficient transport of cargo, which makes this terminal especially attractive," says Port Everglades Director Phillip C. Allen. "Containerized cargo tonnage at Port Everglades has increased 92% in the past six years. And while we have noticed the market softening in recent months, we must be ready for the future, which we believe is quite promising."
Containerized cargo, at 6.58 million tons and 985,095 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) during Fiscal Year 2008 (October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008), has been on a steady upswing at Port Everglades, almost doubling since FY2002.
"Our global marketing efforts will increase as we actively pursue new shipping lines and terminal operators for this new project. We are also looking to expand existing container cargo services that may need additional space to grow their businesses," said Carlos Buqueras, Port Everglades Director of Business Development.
In addition to this new cargo terminal, construction work is already taking place around the clock at Port Everglades with the building of the new Vecenergy petroleum terminal and expansion of Cruise Terminal 18.