PHILADELPHIA - In anticipation of the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on September 23, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) Chairman Jerry Sweeney and officials of PRPA held an informational briefing on its Southport Project at a meeting space on the Delaware River waterfront earlier today. In the audience were about 100 members of the Philadelphia maritime community and other stakeholders interested in what the Southport project will bring to the city and region.
The PRPA Board of Directors will be overseeing the RFQ process, and shortly thereafter a Request for Proposals (RFP) process that together, port officials hope, will ultimately identify private sector partners to assist PRPA and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in developing the three parcels that comprise Southport.
Today’s briefing, conducted by PRPA Executive Director James T. McDermott, Jr. and PRPA’s market advisors Ernst & Young and Hatch MacDonald, covered current plans and timelines, and allowed audience members to share their views on the ambitious Southport Project, the first major expansion of the Port of Philadelphia in years.
Audience members at the briefing included current PRPA terminal operators, representatives of port labor, many businesses that regularly work at the Port, potential respondents to the Port’s RFQ and RFP processes, and others. A lively question-and-answer session demonstrated that there is a high level of interest about Southport and its potential to significantly grow the Port and its economic impact.
Three waterfront sites collectively comprise the Southport complex: the Southport Marine Terminal site (119 acres); Southport West (75 acres) and the Pier 124 North Berth, a 1,132-foot finger pier. The Southport RFQ and RFP processes have been crafted to encourage a full range of maritime commerce cargo opportunities. With the Commonwealth’s support, PRPA has already completed substantial pre-construction and permitting work at the sites, in anticipation of private development.
Additional information on Southport is currently available on PRPA’s web site, www.philaport.com. Further information will be released and posted as the RFQ and RFP processes continue.
The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) is an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania charged with the management, maintenance, marketing, and promotion of publicly-owned port facilities along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, as well as strategic planning throughout the port district. PRPA works with its terminal operators to modernize, expand, and improve it facilities, and to market those facilities to prospective port users. Port cargoes and the activities they generate are responsible for thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the Philadelphia area and throughout Pennsylvania.