The State Plans to 'go Big' With Port Delaware

The sudden news that a decision had been made to press forward with the construction of a container port at the site of the former titanium mill owned by DuPont in Edgemoor appeared to come unexpectedly.

After Enstructure, a company located in Massachusetts, took over from Gulftainer, it was speculated that a scaled-down version of the original project may emerge. However, the magnitude of this project and the price tag that was driven by inflation surprised several people.

Gulftainer, which is based in the Emirates, had been chosen as the port operator in accordance with a fifty-year arrangement that would ostensibly release the state from the financial losses and capital costs that are involved with the operation of the Port of Wilmington.

At the Edgmoor plant site, Gulftainer intended to construct a container port along the Delaware River that would cost half a billion dollars. This would result in the creation of hundreds, and possibly thousands, of employment in the blue-collar sector.

To put it plainly, Gulftainer’s time spent at the port was fraught with difficulties. Despite the fact that the company had recently purchased new machinery, it was plagued by a series of labour issues, unpaid bills, and a variety of other disagreements that occasionally led to the company being taken to Chancery Court. The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus may have been the final blow.

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In the meantime, the state pushed forward with the process of expediting permits for Edgemoor, much to the dismay of political figures upriver who believed that Delaware was receiving special treatment as a result of the influence of the First State’s congressional delegation.

Despite the fact that state officials stayed largely silent about the situation, there appeared to be a growing realisation that any notion of operating the port without the support of the state was a non-starter.

A bipartisan agreement was reached during the Bond Bill proceedings. The state has agreed to invest $195 million in the infrastructure of the container site, which will be called Port Delaware along with the Port of Wilmington. Enstructure plans to develop the Edgemor port in stages, based on their success in attracting shippers.

There are risks involved in the project. The ocean shipping industry is very competitive along the East Coast, and other ports will work hard to protect their territory and invest a lot of money. Over $1 billion is being invested in a container port in the Norfolk area of Virginia, which is capable of handling the largest ships in the world.

Even though there were uncertainties, legislators and the Carney Administration decided to take a bold approach with Port Delaware.

Edgemoor will create construction jobs and provide Delaware with an opportunity to further develop its logistics industry. It also helps protect against any decrease in business at the current Port of Wilmington, which is a significant place for bananas and other produce to be sent. The Edgemoor port is conveniently located near rail service and I-495. It is located downstream from Philadelphia and Jersey ports, which makes it a slightly more affordable choice for shippers.

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