Further evidence that West Coast ports will protect their market share after the Panama Canal expansion surfaced last week as the Los Angeles Harbor Commission adopted a 2013-14 fiscal year (FY) budget of approximately $1.1 billion for the Port of Los Angeles.
This includes one of the largest annual Capital Improvement Programs—$399.9 million or 37% of the total budget—in port history.
The announcement comes on the heels of one made earlier this month about a strategic alliance with the Port of Hamburg—another major competitive differentiator.
“Adoption of this budget allows the Port of Los Angeles to remain competitive, financially strong and self-sustaining, especially as we face increasing and intense competition from ports around the globe,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.
The capital spending budget earmarks more than $380 million for container terminal and transportation upgrades, including:
*More than $99 million at the TraPac container terminal for backland improvements to support future terminal automation as well as construction of a facility to provide on-dock rail capabilities, which will result in all Port of L.A. container terminals equipped with on-dock rail.
*$41.5 million in construction at China Shipping Terminal, which includes completion of 375 linear feet of expanded wharf and backland improvements.
*Almost $96 million for the installation of Alternative Maritime Power stations at major container terminals including APMT, APL, Evergreen, Yang Ming and China Shipping. These stations reduce emissions from container vessels by “plugging in” to shore side power instead of running on diesel power.
*$8.2 million for the audit, design, and construction of required upgrades at liquid bulk oil cargo handling facilities throughout the port, pursuant to requirements of the State Lands Marine Oil Terminal Engineering Maintenance Standards.
*Over $15 million for other terminal projects including wharf and backland development at APL, equipment and wharf upgrades at Evergreen, and pavement replacement at APMT.
*Almost $78 million related to construction at the Berth 200 rail yard, a pivotal piece of the port’s overall goods movement plan to facilitate more fuel-efficient, faster and safer rail operations throughout the port complex.
The FY 2013-14 budget builds on a year in which the port made significant progress on a number of fronts, including completion of its Main Channel Deepening Project that now allows accommodation of new modern, larger vessels at the port; the significant reduction of elemental carbon concentration in the port area to its lowest levels since data collection began in 2005; and maintaining the port’s strong financial position and its “AA” bond rating – the highest rating given to a port without taxing authority.