On Thursday, state and local officials, along with port partners, labor union representatives, customers, and vendors, joined executives of GT USA Wilmington in marking the completion of the first phase of the Port of Wilmington’s electrification project.
The new container yard project opening featured a demonstration of five all-electric rubber tire gantry cranes. The yard project was completed for $37 million and is part of an $88 million in improvements by GT Wilmington since taking over operations at the port in 2018, a release stated.
The port operator says it is committed to investing up to $600 million at the current port site and in building a new facility at the nearby Edgemoor site on the Delaware River.
Following remarks from Gov. John Carney and the GT officials saw a demonstration of the Kone Cranes.
“We want to thank Gov. Carney, state and local officials, our union partners, and our customers for attending our celebration. Their continuous support is the anchor allowing us to gain a competitive edge at the Port of Wilmington,” said Peter Richards, CEO of Gulftainer, GT USA Wilmington’s parent company. “We are proud of our accomplishments and improvements to the Port over the past three years and look forward to continued success for the port and the people of Delaware over the next 47 years.”
GT listed the following developments in its release
- Saved the State of Delaware over $45 million in subsidies over the last three years – money that could now be spent on education and local communities
- The creation of new union labor positions
- Increased container storage capacity.
- Improvements to the port’s cold storage warehouses
- Extending rail to link six of the eight berths at the port’s, all of which now have 38-foot depths
- The addition of three new 45-ton reach-stackers and 16 terminal tractors
- Additionally, GT USA upgraded the port’s information technology system and terminal operating system.
“These improvements increase overall productivity and operational capabilities at the port, improve our customer service levels, and create a cleaner, greener, safer environment,” Richards said. “We stand steadfast in our unwavering commitment to the state of Delaware and to the Port of Wilmington,” Richards said. “Permitting for the new port facility at Edgemoor is expected by year-end 2021, and construction could begin in 2023.”
The event came after news coverage outlined numerous challenges facing the port during the Covid-19 pandemic. (See story below)