BIG HARBOR DEEPENING NEWS ABOUT TO BREAK …
By FITSNEWS || The S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA) will make a major announcement this week regarding its Charleston, S.C. harbor deepening project – news that’s expected to trump the signing of an agreement between the Port of Savannah and the federal government regarding Georgia’s port expansion plans.
You know … the Georgia plans enthusiastically championed by the governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley.
Anyway, Georgia’s project – a joint federal-state endeavor – will deepen the Savannah Harbor from 42 to 47 feet. By contrast, South Carolina’s plan will deepen the Charleston Harbor from 45 to 52 feet – or at least that’s what sources familiar with the proposal tell FITS they’re expecting.
Why does depth matter? Easy: Bigger, heavier ships need deeper harbors. In particular the 10,000 TEU (a.k.a. “twenty-foot equivalent unit”) ships making most of the calls on East Coast ports draft 48 feet when fully loaded – and need a ten percent under keel clearance.
“To work those ships (around the clock) you need a 52-foot harbor,” one source familiar with the Charleston plans told FITS.
Georgia’s project – which as FITS readers recall includes some questionable technology – doesn’t hit that mark.
“South Carolina has a deeper, wider, open harbor with a less expensive project that is environmentally responsible,” our source said. “Their project is old news – a last generation project.”
Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of the decade …