Bidding suspended for Port of Philadelphia development(5)

Pennsylvania said the recession and credit crisis upended the bidding process, which will resume when financial market conditions improve. In the meanwhile, $25m of commonwealth funds will be used to make the project more attractive to the private sector.

Pennsylvania has suspended the bidding process for the development of a container terminal at the Port of Philadelphia, citing the need for financial market conditions to improve and pledging $25 million in capital support to advance the project.

Philadelphia Navy Yard:
still waiting on Southport

Initial development proposals for the port’s Southport Marine Terminal were received from pre-qualified teams on May 15. However, the commonwealth thought the proposals “reflected the detrimental impact of the global recession and international credit crisis on the shipping lines, terminal operators, and infrastructure investors that make up the bidding teams”, according to a statement. 

So late last month the commonwealth notified the teams that it would temporarily suspend the bid process until capital market conditions improve.

In November 2008, Pennsylvania shortlisted four teams as pre-qualified bidders. They were Delaware River Stevedores, Hamburg Süd North America and Holt Southport Development Corporation, Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines and TraPac, and Southport Development Partners.

Each was subsequently invited to submit proposals to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a new marine terminal on the east end of Philadelphia’s Navy Yard – an area known as Southport.

By investing state capital dollars, we will increase the attractiveness of the project to a broader spectrum of investors

Gov. Ed Rendell

While the bidding for the project is suspended, Pennsylvania has authorised up to $25 million toward the project to make the project more suitable for private sector participation. The funds will be used to fund pre-construction activities on the site, such as design work, permitting, site preparation and utility infrastructure. 

“By investing state capital dollars, we will increase the attractiveness of the project to a broader spectrum of investors and we believe those capital dollars will be recouped when the competitive bid process resumes,” Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said in a statement.

“My commitment is to see it through and to ultimately award the project to a development team that is as dedicated to increasing jobs and cargo in this region as I am,” he added.