On March 2, 2017, the Paulsboro Marine Terminal (PMT) in Paulsboro, NJ, officially opened with more than 300 guests at an event welcoming the first vessel, the M/V Doric Warrior, and the commencement of cargo operations. The recent completion of phase one of the Paulsboro Marine Terminal project marks the first new general cargo marine terminal to be constructed along the Delaware River in more than 50 years.
The event included remarks from Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert Damminger, SJPC Executive Director Kevin Castagnola, NLMK USA President Robert Miller, BP Manager Patricia Gallery, Holt Logistics President Leo Holt, and Mayor of Paulsboro Gary Stevenson.
Funded largely through $175 million of South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC) bonds issued in 2009, the Paulsboro Marine Terminal stands as one of the most significant and prudent investments by and for the people of New Jersey in growing southern New Jersey’s economy and its vital role in international trade and commerce. What began formally in 2004 as a Memorandum of Understanding between the SJPC and Gloucester County after Senator Steve Sweeney and Assemblyman Burzichelli envisioned transforming the former BP tank farm into a bustling port, the site is now a place of international commerce and economic activity.
“The Paulsboro Port project is a prime example of an unwavering commitment and collaboration by our local and state leaders that made this a job-creating reality, stated Kevin Castagnola, SJPC’s executive director and CEO.” “Moreover, it is a true public-private partnership between the State of New Jersey, SJPC, Gloucester County, the Borough of Paulsboro, and Holt that has brought an expansion of New Jersey’s intermodal transportation infrastructure to grow water-borne commerce and energize the regional economy.”
One of the first steps was the construction of the $23 million access road that diverts truck traffic away from the neighborhoods. Senator Sweeney, Assemblyman Burzichelli and Freeholder Director Damminger were instrumental in securing NJDOT funding for the public roadway and bridge over the Mantua Creek which provides a direct link between the terminal and Rt. 295.
“Vision is just another word for dream,” stated Richard Alaimo, chairman of the SJPC Board. “It’s the doers, like Governor Chris Christie – and his predecessors – as well as State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assemblyman – and former Paulsboro Mayor – John Burzichelli, Congressman Donald Norcross and, of course, Joe Balzano, our late executive director – who worked tirelessly and collaboratively to turn the Paulsboro Marine Terminal dream into reality.”
Early in the project, SJPC formed a partnership with the Gloucester County Improvement Authority (GCIA) who served as the construction agent for the design and construction of the terminal. SJPC and GCIA worked with the world-class engineering firms: CHM2Hill for the design engineering and AECOM for construction management. The completed first phase has an 850-foot marginal wharf and state-of-the-art on terminal and dockside rail.
More than 300,000 cu/ft of dredged material was used to raise the terminal landscape and protect it against a once in a century flood. The PMT berth(s) have dock-side rail – augmented by millions of dollars in regional rail upgrades and improved rail access through three Class A railroads from the southern New Jersey peninsula to the heartland of the United States and Canada. The rail components of the project were in part funded through a federal TIGER III grant and a NJDOT Rail Freight Assistance grant.
With operations of the PMT the key to its success, the SJPC entered into a terminal operator agreement with Holt Logistics, who is the terminal operator and principal employer supporting hundreds of jobs at the terminal. This public-private partnership is already paying dividends as Paulsboro has become the prime port of call for NLMK USA.
A 50-acre dockside parcel at PMT has been dedicated to the import of steel stabs for NLMK USA, one of the leading suppliers of steel products in the US. NLMK USA will use PMT as a prime port to import steel slabs for rail shipment for distribution throughout North America.
The opening of the PMT marks the completion of Phase One and the beginning of a continued expansion to grow water-borne cargo business. Phase Two will extend the wharf to 2,200 feet to accommodate up to four ships, a 500-foot barge berth, and upland improvements to accommodate future cargo customer needs.