Delaware to Join Public-Private Partnership to Build New Port.

Expanded maritime facility estimated to create 6,000 Delaware jobs

WILMINGTON, Del. – The State of Delaware on Wednesday announced it will join the private operator of the Port of Wilmington, Enstructure, to build a new port terminal at a site in Edgemoor, Delaware. The Edgemoor industrial site was purchased in 2017 by the taxpayer-owned Diamond State Port Corporation (DSPC) which subsequently secured the necessary permits to construct a new port terminal.

This historic $635 million infrastructure project will be largest shipping terminal in Delaware since the current Port of Wilmington opened in 1923. The new state-of-the-art “green port” will ensure the long-term success of Delaware’s maritime industry, vastly improving the State’s competitiveness by quadrupling the port’s capacity for container cargo and enabling new and larger ships to be serviced. Construction of the Edgemoor port will take about three years.

The new Edgemoor terminal is estimated to create nearly 6,000 new jobs, including more than 3,100 direct jobs. Total state and local taxes generated from Edgemoor are estimated at $39.4 million annually. In addition, building the new facility will create more than 3,900 construction jobs and generate $42.3 million in tax revenues.

Once completed and fully operational, “Port Delaware,” including both the existing and new terminals, will generate a total of about 11,480 jobs and $76.2 million in tax revenues for the state, making it one of Delaware’s largest employment centers.

The existing Port of Wilmington is a significant source of high-paying jobs to support Delaware families. Many of its longshoremen earn annual incomes of more than $100,000, with a recent national report estimating the average annual salary of a maritime worker at $98,000.

Construction of the new port facility will be conducted in three phases, with the first to be completed over an estimated 32-month period. Much of the early work in the first phase will be focused on waterside construction – building a seawall, high deck and associated dredging.  Landside construction of the actual terminal will come later with proactive public participation and community engagement. Phases two and three of the project will be built by Enstructure when business justifies the additional capacity.

The State will take on responsibility for approximately 31 percent of the cost of building the facility, or $195 million. Enstructure will pay most of the construction and equipment costs, beginning with $170 million to support Phase 1 of the project and an additional $165 million to complete phases 2 and 3, which equals 53 percent of the entire project. Remaining costs will come from federal sources and the DSPC. State funds will come from excess abandoned property revenues made available in previous state bond bills for specific one-time uses, including maritime terminal development.

A detailed explanation of the project, its benefits, and the economic impact can be viewed here.

State leaders and Enstructure joined in their support of the new port:

“For decades, jobs at the Port of Wilmington have been a gateway into the middle class for thousands of workers and their families— the kind of jobs our state and country were built on,” said Governor John Carney. “This investment to expand the Port will position Delaware to compete for container cargo and larger ships. It will bring new, good-paying union jobs to Wilmington. I am pleased to see strong bipartisan support for this important and necessary next step in making the planned Edgemoor expansion a reality.”

House Speaker Valerie Longhurst said, “Investing in this new port is investing in Delaware’s future. One of the most important jobs we have as legislators is growing Delaware’s economy and keeping it strong.  We need to build this new port to keep our maritime economy competitive in the years ahead. The benefits of this new port will be felt for generations by thousands of Delaware families who will be able to buy a house, send kids to college and improve their quality of life.”

“This announcement is a major step forward in our efforts to make the City of Wilmington a major engine of Delaware’s economy and a source of strong union jobs once again,” Joint Capital Improvement (Bond) Committee co-chair Senator Jack Walsh said on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus. “I want to thank Governor John Carney for his unwavering commitment to expand the Port of Wilmington. This investment in our future fulfills that promise and will help thousands of Delaware workers support their families with good-paying union jobs. My colleagues and I on the Bond Committee are committed to working with Enstructure and our next governor to see this project through to completion for future generations of Delaware workers.”

Senate Republican Leader Gerald Hocker added, “Investing in modern public infrastructure is a great way to ensure a strong economy for the future. The existing port has created jobs and small business opportunities for over 100 years. This new port will be a critical piece of strengthening Delaware’s economy for the next hundred years.”

“Our Port generates thousands of great paying jobs statewide from Delaware River & Bay Pilots in Sussex to longshoremen in Wilmington,” said House Republican Leader Mike Ramone.  “Investing in Delaware’s infrastructure is a top priority.  This state-of-the-art ‘green port’ terminal will not only result in the productive re-use of a highly visible but vacant industrial site, it also assures future Delawareans have access to maritime careers of the future.”

“I am excited for the opportunities this new port site will bring to Delaware. Thousands of Delawareans including many of my constituents will benefit from this construction whether directly through jobs or indirectly from the increased economic activity in their communities,” stated Bond Bill Chair Representative Deb Heffernan. “As I have said since this project was first theorized, a project of this size and scale only works with constant and consistent communication with the community. DSPC and Enstructure have made guarantees to hold community meetings, establish a community advisory board made up of local community members, and develop and continually update a website with information on the construction process. I will be watching to ensure these promises are kept and our community is kept up to date on this project that has the potential to benefit us all.”

“We are excited to partner with the State of Delaware, the Diamond State Port Corporation, the Delaware Building Trades and the International Longshoremen’s Association to significantly expand Delaware’s port infrastructure,” said Enstructure Co-CEOs Matthew Satnick and Philippe De Montigny. “The Port Delaware Container Terminal will broaden Enstructure’s terminal network and logistics services, while enhancing our ability to serve our customers.”