Virginia RFP out after unsolicited port bid

A proposal by APM Terminals to take over the Port of Virginia prompted the commonwealth to open a bidding process. The deadline is July 12.

A month old unsolicited offer to operate the Port of Virginia prompted the office of the secretary of transportation to publish a request for proposals (RFP) to spur a competitive bidding process.

APM Terminals (APMT) in April offered to manage the cargo and traffic operation for the port in a long-term concession that the Netherlands-based company valued at between $3 billion to $4 billion. In turn APM, the port-operating arm of conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, would transfer ownership of its Portsmouth Marine Terminal, located within the Port of Virginia, to the state.

The unsolicited proposal was forwarded to the Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships (OTP3) unit, created last year. OTP3 deemed the APMT offer suitable, leading Virginia to publish a RFP.

The RFP is due Thursday, July 12, with acceptance notification scheduled on Monday, July 30. Ryan Pderaza, a project manager for OTP3 in Richmond, Virginia, is the listed point of contact.

The Virginia Port Authority (VPA), the RFP said, is endeavouring to “establish the Port of Virginia as the leading ocean container terminal complex on the East Coast of the United States”. VPA called the port, located on the harbour of Hampton Roads,” a critical economic engine, spurring growth in job creation, tax revenue and corporate investment across the commonwealth”.

Eric Sisco, president of APM, termed the APM offer “the lowest cost, long-term solution for future growth at this time of a stabilising economy and the eventual expansion of global commerce”.

Virginia in 2009 received an unsolicited proposal for a long-term concession of the port, which was determined to be “not in the best interest of the port or the commonwealth,” according to the VPA. 

The Norfolk International Terminal, the Newport News Marine Terminal, and the Virginia Inland Port, in addition to the AMP-owned Portsmouth Marine Terminal, make up the Port of Virginia.