The U.S. Gulf Coast port is currently developing a new forest products terminal and is looking to dredge its east channel, according to Port Panama City Executive Director Wayne Stubbs.
Photo: Port Panama City
Phase 1 rendering of the new forest products terminal
Port Panama City along Florida’s panhandle is gearing up for a new forest products terminal.
The port has already begun construction on the terminal’s first 250,000-square-foot warehouse and related rail yards, with the project costing $20 million, Port Panama City Executive Director Wayne Stubbs told American Shipper.
The total investment for the first phase of development at the terminal – including the land purchase, the warehouse facilities, the bulkhead rehab and dredging – will be $55 million. The port hopes to complete the warehouse by the end of 2017 and all of phase one by the end of 2018.
“We feel there are a number of paper and pulp mills in the region that can benefit from these facilities,” Stubbs said.
Port Panama City’s cargo base consists of imported, exported and domestic (coastwise) general and bulk cargo, according to the port’s website. In addition, containerized cargo between Progreso, Mexico and Port Panama City continues to be a significant part of the port’s volume base.
The main channel providing access to the existing port facility currently has a depth of 36 feet at mean low water, while the east channel currently has a controlling draft of 32 feet at mean low water, Stubbs said. The port regularly handles vessels up to 40,000 deadweight tons.
Last year, the port wrapped up a study with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reevaluate the dredging of the east channel. Dredging the east channel will cost an estimated $8 million – $5 million in federal funds, which the port is trying to pursue right now and get into the 2018 budget.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., met with the port authority Tuesday to discuss expansion at the port, and is trying to help get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide funding for the dredging in its budget.