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GPA outlines port upgrades

October 22 - Georgia Ports Authority's (GPA) executive director, Curtis Foltz, has outlined an ambitious ten-year plan to enhance its Brunswick Terminal on the US Eastern Seaboard.

"In order to ensure efficient processing of cargo, our capacity must remain higher than current demand," said Foltz. "To that end, we will be improving Brunswick facilities serving each of our major business sectors here, including automotive, breakbulk and bulk cargo."

He described a capital improvement plan amounting to USD152 million, which includes the addition of a fourth ro-ro berth at Colonel's Island Terminal. A permit request has been submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Foltz hopes construction can start in 2016.

"Served by eight ocean carriers, Colonel's Island Terminal offers three modern ro-ro berths and four on-terminal auto processors, handling cargo for more than 60 auto and heavy machinery manufacturers," said GPA board vice chairman Jimmy Allgood. "With 696 acres (281.6 ha) in use and 641 acres (259.4 ha) permitted for expansion on Colonel's Island, GPA can easily accommodate additional ro-ro business," he added.

GPA is currently preparing 40 acres (16.2 ha) of land on the south side of Colonel's terminal ready for new port customers. During 2016 further additional earthworks will be completed, as will the next phase of the Anguilla Junction Rail Yard expansion, the first phase of a berth upgrade at Mayor's Point breakbulk terminal, East River Terminal improvements, and upgrades to Colonel's Island agribulk facilities.

"Another important infrastructure improvement is the maintenance dredging that must be funded by the federal government," explained GPA chairman James Walters. "While the president has included USD5.8 million in his budget proposal for FY 2016, Congress has yet to pass an Energy and Water Appropriations Bill at this time. Securing sufficient funding for Brunswick harbor maintenance is our top priority right now."

www.gaports.com

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