Philadelphia agency issues RFQ for Southport

The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority is moving ahead with the procurement of the Southport Marine Terminal project after witnessing interest from 16 firms.

The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the redevelopment of the Southport Marine Terminal Complex, a 194-acre site at the eastern tip of the former Philadelphia Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.

PRPA, which is charged with managing, maintaining, marketing and promoting publicly owned port facilities along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, as well as strategic planning in the port district, is looking to enter a public-private partnership (PPP; P3) agreement to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Southport Marine Terminal Complex.

The complex has three available sites – the 119-acre Southport Marine Terminal (site 1); the 75-acre Southport West Terminal (site 2); and Pier 124 North Berth, a 1,132 foot-long finger pier (site 3) – that can be divided into two opportunities, PRPA stated in the RFQ. It is seeking conceptual development plans for sites 1 and/or 2. According to the document, site 3 is an additional parcel of property that may be included as part of either a site 1 or site 2 conceptual development plan. However, a conceptual development plan for Pier 124 North Berth only will not be considered.

Development plans for the Southport Marine Terminal must align with PRPA’s long-term goal of providing capacity for the increasing volume of conventional cargo, such as autos, break-bulk, containers, and dry bulk in the region, according to the RFQ. However, the Southport West Terminal provides more flexibility with respondents able to propose any permissible use, including conventional cargo.

Aside from being located near major rail and road networks – CSX and Norfolk Southern and Interstate 95 (I-95) – the Southport complex has the added advantage of having no oil or gas inheritance and therefore may be attractive for custom design storage, handling and value-added processing of natural gas and natural gas liquids, with the Marcellus-Utica gas fields, which are located in Western Pennsylvania, according to PRPA.

The deadline for responding to the RFQ is November 18. The agency expects to announce shortlisted teams and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) in December.

PRPA, which issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (REI) in October 2014, has spent approximately $30 million, with the support of the Commonwealth, on realising substantial pre-development work at the sites in anticipation of private development.

The 16 firms responding to the REI last November, were Atlantic Realty, Global Auto Processing Services, Katoen Natie Group, Liberty Property Trust, MarkWest Energy Partners, OHL Infrastructure, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, Walsh Construction, Anthony Bruttaniti (representing the Philadelphia Global Trade Center), Holt Logistics, Liberty Energy Trust, LNG America, Navigator Gas, Penn City Investments and Affiliated Companies, T Parker Host, and WesPac Midstream.