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US Northwest ports target mega-ships

2019-04-04

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Seattle, WA - In a move aimed at countering rising competition from the Canadian ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) has moved a step closer to welcoming containership giants as it authorized Terminal 5 construction and lease agreements.

The April 2 deal, including future Phase II commitment, represents approximately US$500 million in private and public investment in the region's economy, according to NWSA.

In addition, an interlocal agreement was approved, allowing the Port of Seattle to use a portion of Terminal 46 for a cruise berth.

The modernization of Terminal 5 "will ensure robust and competitive marine cargo and maritime industrial activities in our harbor for the next 30 years, sustaining and creating family-wage jobs and economic opportunity for the region," said Stephanie Bowman, Port of Seattle commission president and co-chair of the NWSA.

The ports have faced stiff competition for shipping routes, especially from Vancouver and Prince Rupert. The latter has topped the 1 million container mark, with a plan to do 1.8 million standard containers by 2022.

 

"Terminal 5 will be able to handle the largest marine cargo vessels now being deployed in the Asia-Pacific trade route quickly and efficiently, providing a critical link for Washington state exports to Asian markets," said Clare Petrich, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of the NWSA.

Vessels regularly visiting the gateway have grown in capacity from 4,800 TEUs in 1997 to 14,000 TEUs today.

The lease package approved by NWSA would see SSA Terminals (Seattle Terminals) start operating the Terminal 5 once phase one construction is complete in 2021. The current lease at Terminal 18 would be amended to introduce conditional consent for the lease to be assigned to the new joint venture (SSA Terminals and TIL) and waive a rail yard fee.

The current Terminal 46 lease with TTI will terminate early, allowing international container cargo to be realigned to Terminal 18. This presents the opportunity for Port of Seattle to operate a cruise berth on a portion of the property with breakbulk or project cargo on the remaining, larger section. (Photo Port of Seattle)

 
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