Yesterday at Virginia International Gateway (VIG), US East Coast, survey crews began the preparatory work commencing a USD 320 mln three-year expansion project that will nearly double the terminal’s annual capacity, announced the Virginia Port Authority press release. The project is the first of two large-scale expansion projects that, when complete in 2020, will increase the overall annual capacity of the sixth largest containerized cargo complex in the United States by 40%, or 1 mln container units.
The VIG project includes expansion of the berths, the container stacking yard and the gate, as well as doubling the on-dock rail operation, with the aim to expand the port’s rail reach into the market by making use of the National Gateway, CSX’s double-stack route into the Midwest. The yesterday surveying commences the works on the container yard, which is to be increased up to 28 stacks, and on the rail yard, which will see in total 8 tracks at completion. Additionally, 26 RMG cranes will be delivered for the container stacking yard and 4 cantilever RMG cranes (CRMGs) – for the rail yard.
The work on the terminal gate will add four additional inbound gate lanes.
The total berth length will reach 3,750 feet (1,143m) upon completion of the project, which will allow to accommodate four new Suezclass STS cranes, to handle 12,000-plus TEU vessels. The berth project begins March 15 and is scheduled to be finalized in the winter of 2018.
When complete, the annual capacity at VIG will increase from 650,000 containers up to 1.2 mln containers.
In November, 2016 the port and Virginia International Gateway, LLC owning the container facility, signed a new long-term lease agreement, until 2065. This cleared the path for the port to begin work on the expansion.
Besides, in July, the port will begin work on its other large capacity project: the expansion of the south container yard at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). The container stack yard will be completely reconfigured and will be served by 60 new RMG cranes. This USD 350 mln project, due to be completed by 2020, will increase the current NIT annual capacity of 820,000 containers by additional 400,000 containers.
“We believe that the continued investment in people, technology and those capacity projects being undertaken at The Port of Virginia during the next three-to-four years are positioning this port to become the US East Coast’s premiere port: a true gateway to world trade and a catalyst for commerce in Virginia,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.
In 2016 the port of Virginia set new volume record by having handled 2.65 mln TEU, or 4.2% more than in 2015.