The South Carolina State Ports Authority on Tuesday suspended funding for its joint project with the Georgia Ports Authority to build the Jasper Ocean Terminal.
The SCSPA board voted for suspension at its monthly meeting Tuesday after determining the terminal could not be built under current and proposed conditions, which take into account the Savannah Harbor Deepening project, according to the Charleston Regional Business Journal.
The SCSPA’s action comes after the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reversed its opposition to allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the Savannah River up the site of the proposed Jasper port and to Savannah to 48 feet from the present 42 feet.
The SCSPA board said an alternative to deepening the Savannah River to the Jasper terminal should be studied along with the current deepening project. SCSPA Chairman Bill Stern said the current deepening project would not enable the river to accommodate the size of the vessels that will start coming through the new Panama Canal locks after 2014.
“The proposed Savannah River deepening was probably fine when first conceived in 1999, but today’s global shipping environment requires more,” Stern said.