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Port Of Long Beach Approves Billion-Dollar Harbor Project

Shunqi Lin |
January 25, 2013 | 3:53 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

The Middle Harbor (The Port of Long Beach)
The Middle Harbor (The Port of Long Beach)
Port of Long Beach officials met Tuesday to approve and formalize a $1.2 billion budget for its Middle Harbor project. The nine-year plan will combine two existing container terminals into one mega terminal. It is expected to handle more than 3 million containers, two times its current capacity.

The plan was approved by the Board of Harbor Commission in April 2009 and construction began in the spring of 2011. According to San Jose Mercury News, approximately $513.4 million in work on the Middle Harbor project has already been completed or is under way.

According to the Port's official website, the Middle Harbor project is expected to create about 14,000 permanent jobs in Southern California and 1,000 temporary construction jobs a year for the next nine years.

The newly equipped terminal will also reduce environmental problems, making it "the Port's most technologically advanced and greenest terminal," according to their website. “We are able to double the capacity while decreasing the pollution in half from the current levels. The way to accomplish that is by using more on-dock rail,” said Port of Long Beach spokesman Daniel Yi.

The new equipment will move more containers directly from ship to a train, after which the cargo will use an elevator corridor to reach its destination, ultimately leading to fewer trucks on the road. It will also move containers faster and more efficiently from the ship, therefore resulting in less pollution on a per container basis.

Most of the budget will be spent on construction and land utility fees. Most of the revenue generated by the port comes from the rent fee it charges from tenants. Last year, the port signed a 40-year, $4.6 billion lease with Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) for exclusive use of the Middle Harbor property.

The construction is scheduled to complete in 2019. By then, the harbor will be the largest for the nation's second-busiest seaport.

Credit: The Port of Long Beach

Reach Staff Reporter Shunqi Lin here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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