The 25-year contract, which includes a facilities lease and equipment sublease, calls for a $238.7 million investment, including the operator putting $28 million toward the harbor deepening project.
The JAXPORT Board of Directors on Monday approved a 25-year lease agreement with SSA Marine, which would make the Seattle-based terminal operator the new operator of Blount Island’s international container terminal.
The contract, which commences Aug. 1 and includes two five-year renewal options, calls for JAXPORT and SSA Marine to make a combined $237.8 million investment in the SSA Jacksonville International Gateway Terminal. SSA will contribute $129.7 million for facilities and cranes, including $28 million toward the cost of the port’s harbor deepening project and the addition of three more 100-gauge container cranes.
“The most important investment you’ll hear many times today is the private investment in both the terminal and harbor deepening to improve equipment, which constitutes a true P3,” said JAXPORT CEO Eric Green. “This is history in the making.”
JAXPORT will receive $16 million in August when the contract commences and then $6 million in August 2020 and 2021, said Beth McCague, the port’s CFO. The upfront payment also gives SSA the exclusive use of three ZMPC cranes currently on Blount Island, she said.
The contract includes a minimum annual guarantee that is estimated to equal about $158 million over the life of the deal, which has an upside of about $298 million, said Linda Williams, the port’s chief of administrative and corporate performance.
“We wouldn’t be in this port if we didn’t have the long-term belief that Jacksonville’s day is coming,” said Mark Knudsen, president of SSA Marine.
SSA Marine, which currently operates on about 50 acres on Blount Island, will have its space expanded to 80 acres, with an option to expand to 120 if space becomes available.
The deal also is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs during its duration.
“Just like the movie ‘Field of Dreams,’ build it and it will come; dredge it and it will come. Today we see the mission coming to fruition,” said Vince Cameron, president of ILA Local 1408. “We know that we have made another significant move that’s going to put us in the Super Bowl of commerce. This equates to jobs. More boxes equal more jobs.”