Port of Virginia Set to Expand Container Terminal
On Thursday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said that the Virginia Port Authority has entered into a 49-year lease extending its operation of the privately owned Virginia International Gateway, or VIG. The extension paves the way for an expansion project which will double the terminal's handling capacity.
VIG is owned by Alinda Capital Partners and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS). The authority signed a 20-year lease in 2010 to operate the 230-acre, one million TEU per year facility. The deepwater port is semi-automated and offers a 50-foot navigation channel, putting it among the relatively small number of East Coast ports that are already capable of handling fully laden New Panamax ships.
“Within the existing footprint, we will have the capability and capacity to process a total of . . . 2 million TEU annually through VIG,” said Aubrey L. Layne, Virginia secretary of transportation. “The negotiation process was a collaborative effort with both the Alinda, USS team and the port making a significant investment in resources and time. Everyone worked together to reach this agreement knowing the long-term benefits to the port and throughout Virginia.”
The expansion program will lengthen the wharf and add four new ship to shore gantry cranes, an expanded rail operation and a bigger container yard. Construction is expected to take about three years.
The announcement follows news last month that the state is investing $350 million in expanding capacity at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), the authority's other primary container facility.
“We are seeing vessels in the 10,000-plus TEU range, we are processing more rail cargo than ever and the demand for our services is growing. We have momentum and our timing coincides well with the changes in the industry," said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the VPA.