The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority has selected the team of Delaware River Stevedores, Philadelphia, and Hyundai Merchant Marine Shipping Agency Inc. to develop a 119-acre site; the resulting Southport Marine Terminal will try to attract commercial container vessels that will be using the expanded Panama Canal to reach East Coast markets.

Photo: PRPA

Before construction can begin on Philadelphia’s first new marine terminal in a half-century, however, the developers must put together a facilities design and financing plan for the project, estimated to cost $250 million. The developers also will ensure that the first phase of the dredging to 45 ft a 104.5-mile stretch of the Delaware River Channel; the dredging, which recently began under U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supervision, remains on track for its scheduled 2015 completion date.

While the concession agreement for Southport is expected to be finalized in early November, the three-phase construction schedule for the public-private venture will begin in 2013 at the earliest, according to PRPA.

To be located just south of PRPA’s existing container-handling facilities on the Delaware River, Southport will include a 2,128-ft marginal wharf, utility trench and pile-supported crane rails to provide two 1,064-ft berths, each with three electric-powered post-Panamax container gantry cranes.

The plan also calls for a container yard capable of handling a planned annual throughput of 1.1 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units as well as support buildings and structures for administration, maintenance and operations activities.

In addition to the core 119-acre facility, PRPA will also provide up to 120 acres of adjacent land to support the development of Southport. Portions of these parcels are currently submerged.

Over the next three years, the developers will pay $2 million in “preconstruction rent.” PRPA will take advantage of $25 million in dedicated state funding for site preparation work, including permitting, demolition of existing structures, utilities analysis and construction of an access road.

Delaware River Stevedores is a joint venture of Carrix Inc. and Ports America Group, the two largest independent terminal operating companies in the U.S. Hyundai Merchant Marine Shipping Agency is the North American subsidiary of one of South Korea’s leading logistics organizations.