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Philadelphia port due for $300m renovation

by Andrea Waitrovich

The Port of Philadelphia will undergo a $300 million renovation, starting in 2017. The initiative, which is expected to continue through 2020, will double container capacity, position the port for future growth, create thousands of jobs, improve efficiency and increase tax revenues.

“This capital investment program will give the Port of Philadelphia the tools it needs to improve its competitive position and create thousands of family-sustaining, middle class jobs while increasing state revenues,” said Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania. “With its major economic impacts throughout the state, my administration understands the value of Pennsylvania’s port asset in Philadelphia.”

The program, ranking among the largest investments by a state on the East Coast, will boost three of the busiest sectors of the Port of Philadelphia — the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port’s automobile-handling operation and the Tioga Marine Terminal.

A total direct job increase of 70 percent is projected from the current level of 3,124 to a projected 5,378 direct jobs. Total employment at the Port will also increase, from 10,341 to 17,020, and state and local tax revenues generated will increase from the current $69.6 million to $108.4 million annually.

About $200 million of the Capital Investment Program will be invested in the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port of Philadelphia’s largest maritime facility. These improvements will include four new electric post-Panamax container cranes, the relocation of warehouses to facilitate container growth and the construction of new warehouses, and a deeper 45-foot depth at the terminal’s marginal berths, to match the new 45-foot depth of the Delaware River’s main channel. Electrification throughout the terminal also will be modernized to support electrification of existing diesel cranes and cold ironing capabilities at the terminal (the ability to power without the need for the vessels to burn fuel while docked).

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