Less than three months after seeking proposals from interested parties to design, operate and maintain a major new marine terminal in South Philadelphia, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced on July 23 the shortlist of teams that will continue in the solicitation process developing a public-private partnership that is expected to bring millions of dollars of investment to the region.
One of the teams selected was a consortium comprising Delaware River Stevedores (DRS) and Hyundai Merchant Marine America (HMMA). DRS is a joint venture between Carrix Inc., and Ports America Group, the two largest independent terminal operating companies in the United States. DRS has vast stevedoring experience at several major U.S. ports, including the Port of Philadelphia. HMMA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd., is a major Asian carrier growing by leaps and bounds in worldwide trade lanes and in the U.S. port industry.
The other team selected was SMT Development Partners, principally comprised of the Spanish-based Obrascon Huarte Lain, S.A. (OHL), with support by worldwide port engineering firm CH2M Hill. OHL is responsible for many successful capital construction projects in the international port industry. The Judlau and Jay Cashman firms, representing construction and finance aspects of the proposal, are also components of this proposal.
The above-listed teams, both of which would be great assets to the commonwealth's port industrial plans for the area in South Philadelphia designated for Southport, were selected based upon responses to the first phase of the proposal process that was issued May 12, 2009 for the construction and operation of the Southport Marine Terminal, which is envisioned as a state-of-the-art facility strategically positioned to handle growing international trade volumes. The commonwealth's Department of General Services is administering the selection process.
"We are pleased by the response to the SFP, and excited by the prospects the Southport project brings to the region," Governor Rendell said. "These companies that have expressed interest in Southport have solid track records in terminal development, and we look forward to working with them as this process continues."
The Southport Marine Terminal project represents the first major expansion of the Port of Philadelphia in 50 years. Located to the south of the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, it will be supported by three Class One railroads and a network of highways to enhance intermodal opportunities. In addition, the acreage on the site offers excellent potential for future growth and expansion.
The next step in the selection process, Estey said, is an intensive development of the phase two submissions by the short listed bidders. Based upon the phase two submissions, DGS plans to announce the preferred bidder in September and reach commercial close in November.
The s announcement is a continuation of the commitment of Governor Rendell and the PRPA to the Southport project. In May 2009, Governor Rendell dedicated up to $25m in capital funds to accelerate the project. The money has funded environmental studies, permitting, land acquisition, geotechnical work, site preparation, utility analysis and site access work.