Baltimore to Bolster Megaship Facilities
The Port of Baltimore has been awarded US$6.6 million in federal funding, from the US Department of Transportation, to develop a second deep berth for megaships.
Governor Larry Hogan announced that the grant will support the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration’s (MDOT MPA) project to deepen the second container berth of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal to 50 feet.
The state of Maryland will contribute $7.8 million and Ports America Chesapeake, which operates the Seagirt Marine Terminal for MDOT MPA, will invest $18.4 million for a total project cost of $32.7 million.
According to a statement, a second 50-foot deep draft container berth will allow the Port of Baltimore to handle two supersized container ships simultaneously.
As part of a public-private agreement with Ports America Chesapeake, signed in 2010, the first 50-foot draft berth was built at the Seagirt Marine Terminal.
The Port of Baltimore is one of a few East Coast ports capable of accommodating the largest container vessels; earlier in 2018, Baltimore welcomed the largest container ship to ever visit Maryland, when the 11,000-TEU ‘Gunde Maersk’ arrived at Seagirt.
Hogan, while announcing the federal grant, said: “Our administration is committed to expanding Maryland’s transportation network, and these projects will support thousands of new jobs and spur economic growth and development in every corner of our state.
“I want to thank Secretary Elaine Chao and her team at the U.S. Department of Transportation for working with us to get these critical projects moving.”
Construction work on the project is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2019 and is expected to take one year to complete.