U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Rear Adm. Mark Buzby and officials and leadership from Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) and terminal operator SSA Marine broke ground on a new container terminal at JAXPORT’s Blount Island Marine Terminal on November 22.
The SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal is an expansion of SSA’s current leasehold at Blount Island and includes USD 238.7 million upgrades in infrastructure and equipment. The facility will offer deepwater berthing space to accommodate larger containerships calling JAXPORT from Asia more fully loaded.
The groundbreaking follows the agreement signed between JAXPORT and SSA Marine in March this year. The agreement for the development and operation of the terminal is for 25 years with two five-year renewal options.
Operations will continue throughout the redevelopment, which is expected to be completed in 2023 — coinciding with the completion of the federal project to deepen the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet.
Phased yard improvements are underway at the terminal that will allow the facility to accommodate up to 700,000 TEUs annually. Berth upgrades are expected to be completed in 2021 and will allow the terminal to simultaneously work two Post-Panamax vessels. The Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project includes the construction of a vessel turning basin that will allow larger vessels calling on the terminal to turn at Blount Island.
The SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal offers 80 acres of terminal operating space, with the option to grow up to 120 acres as space becomes available. The facility features three post-Panamax electric container cranes and terminal plans include the addition of three more container cranes.
During the groundbreaking, Admiral Buzby formally presented JAXPORT with a previously awarded USD 20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant will fund terminal enhancements that will allow the facility to accommodate more containers on an expanded footprint.