The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey acquired the 98-acre Global Terminal on the Port Jersey peninsula in Jersey City and Bayonne.
The acquisition will allow the terminal to expand its container-handling facilities onto adjacent port authority property on the site of the former Northeast Auto Terminal, turning it into a 170-acre terminal.
“We plan on moving forward immediately with a berth extension, which will give us two berths, instead of the present one and a half,” said Jim Devine, president and CEO, Global Container Terminals USA, a division of Ontario Teachers Pension Fund, which acquired both the Global Terminal and the New York Container Terminal on Staten Island from OOCL in 2007.
The expansion of Global Terminal to the east will enable it to extend its existing 1,800-foot berth by 700 feet, which Devine estimated will take three years to complete.
Under the Global agreement, the Port Authority takes ownership of the Global property and in turn opens a 37-year lease agreement with Global under which the terminal operator will develop the former Northeast Auto Terminal property into one new container terminal known as the Global Container Terminal as part of the Port Jersey-Port Authority Marine Terminal facility. Global will then handle the day-to-day cargo operation on the much larger footprint.
The lease agreement calls for revenue sharing on containers handled by Global on the 170-acre combined facility and staged rental payments as the terminal is developed over time. In addition, the Port Authority will provide Global with up to $150 million to develop and construct new container terminal space.
The Port Authority also has agreed to develop an ExpressRail facility on the adjacent Greenville Yards in Jersey City that the port authority’s board authorized it to buy and redevelop last month. The expanded rail yard could handle up to 250,000 containers per year.
In addition, the New Jersey Turnpike is redesigning the 14A interchange to handle projected port traffic as the Global terminal expands over time.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is dredging the channel to Global Terminal to a depth of 50 feet, but it needs to have more than one private user as the beneficiary of its dredging project. The Port Authority had planned to build a container terminal for lease to a private terminal operator on the site of the former NEAT auto terminal in order to satisfy that requirement.
By acquiring the Global property, the port authority has satisfied that requirement because it is a public user, Devine said. “The Global acquisition and development will relieve the State of New Jersey from a $150 million financial obligation to the federal government to cover the cost of the 50-foot channel-deepening project in the Port Jersey Channel,” the port authority said.
The acquisition of Global terminal is the second port authority land acquisition announced in the last 24 hours. Late Thursday, the port agency announced it and the State of New Jersey agreed to buy 130 acres of the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne for future, long-term port use.
The port authority said it remains committed to its larger container facilities in Elizabeth, Newark and Staten Island, including continued investments in the on-dock rail system and the 50-foot channel-deepening program.
The agency said it is confident that the shipping industry will come back strong from the current slump in container volumes and will make certain it has the capacity to meet future demand as the busiest port on the East Coast of North America.
Global currently employs approximately 350 workers at its existing terminal. It remains to be determined how many workers will be hired to operate the additional cargo container space.
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