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July 26, 2010

Two teams shortlisted for Philadelphia port expansion project

Less than three months after seeking proposals to design, operate and maintain a new marine terminal in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today the shortlist of teams that will continue in the solicitation process developing a public-private partnership hoped to bring millions of dollars of investment to the region.

One team is a consortium comprising Delaware River Stevedores (DRS) and Hyundai Merchant Marine America (HMMA). DRS is a joint venture between Carrix Inc., and Ports America Group, the two largest independent terminal operating companies in the United States. DRS has stevedoring experience at several major U.S. ports, including the Port of Philadelphia. HMMA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd., a major Asian carrier.

The other team is SMT Development Partners, principally comprised of the Spanish-based Obrascon Huarte Lain, S.A. (OHL), with support by worldwide port engineering firm CH2M Hill. OHL is responsible for many successful capital construction projects in the international port industry. The Judlau and Jay Cashman firms, representing construction and finance aspects of the proposal, are also components of this proposal.

The teams were selected based upon responses to the first phase of the proposal process that was issued May 12, 2009 for the construction and operation of the Southport Marine Terminal, which is envisioned as a state-of-the-art facility strategically positioned to handle growing international trade volumes. Pennsylvania's Department of General Services is administering the selection process.

The Southport Marine Terminal project represents the first major expansion of the Port of Philadelphia in 50 years. Located to the south of the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, it will be supported by three Class One railroads and a network of highways to enhance intermodal opportunities. In addition, the acreage on the site offers excellent potential for future growth and expansion.

"As the nation's economy slowly emerges from the recession, we are poised to capture a substantial amount of the increasing cargo volumes that will be coming," said John H. Estey, chairman of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. "The Southport project offers us not only the opportunity to maintain our competitive edge, but allows us to seek new opportunities and attract new cargo and thousands of family-sustaining jobs."

The next step in the selection process, Estey said, is an intensive development of the phase two submissions by the short listed bidders. Based upon the phase two submissions, DGS plans to announce the preferred bidder in September and reach commercial close in November.

In May 2009, Governor Rendell dedicated up to $25 million in capital funds to accelerate the Southport project. The money has funded environmental studies, permitting, land acquisition, geotechnical work, site preparation, utility analysis and site access work.


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