Virginia ends consideration of port bids
Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton said Friday the state will give no further consideration to three unsolicited bids from companies seeking a long-term operating concession at the Virginia Port Authority marine terminals.
The decision ends the process of evaluating the unsolicited proposals that were submitted in 2009 in accordance with Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act from CenterPoint Properties, a real estate industrial trust; the Carlyle Group; and a partnership between the parent company of stevedore SSA Marine and Goldman Sachs.
Connaughton said the proposals “were received during a severe economic downturn that reduced the volume of cargo moving through the port, with consequential negative impacts on the port's revenues and value. Since that time, however, cargo volumes moving through the port have steadily increased. The bids, therefore, are not considered reflective of the value of the terminals based on the past investment made by the commonwealth and their anticipated value as the economy recovers.'
He also said there was a significant change in value of the port given a the 20-year lease the VPA executed for APM Terminals in Portsmouth this summer. Having operational control at that facility dramatically increases the efficiency and cargo handling capabilities of the port on multiple levels and therefore increases, VPA said.
VPA said that although the process of reviewing the unsolicited bids is ending, the commonwealth will undertake an evaluation of the VPA and Virginia International Terminals (VIT) to determine the advantages of privatizing all or part of their operations in the future. This evaluation will be undertaken during the next year.