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Governor O’Malley Leads Celebration of New 50-Foot-Deep Berth and Supersized Cranes at Port of Baltimore

Public-private partnership project creates 5,700 Maryland jobs

Baltimore one of two East Coast ports that can accommodate extra large ships

BALTIMORE, MD  – Governor Martin O’Malley, joined by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and private sector partners from Highstar Capital and Ports America Chesapeake, today led  celebration of a new 50-foot-deep berth and four supersized container cranes at the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal. The project is part of a larger public-private partnership (P3) agreement that is supporting 5,700 new jobs and will allow the Port of Baltimore to accommodate larger ships and attract more cargo to Maryland. The new berth and cranes are key elements of the 50-year agreement between the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Port Administration (MPA) and Highstar Capital’s Ports America Chesapeake to lease and operate the 200-acre Seagirt Marine Terminal. Under the agreement, Ports America Chesapeake has daily operational control of Seagirt, but the state continues to own the facility.

“This new 50-foot-deep berth and these cranes were absolutely critical to the long-term future of the Port of Baltimore, enabling Maryland to retain existing business and jobs while allowing us to accommodate new business and create new jobs that will come aboard the larger ships that are on the horizon,” said Governor O’Malley. “Through our collaboration with Ports America, we’re moving the Port of Baltimore forward, creating jobs and connecting our State with cities and ports half a world away. This project puts the Port of Baltimore in an excellent competitive position when the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2015 — a project that will literally change the face of the maritime shipping business.”

This P3 project and partnership between the MPA and Ports America Chesapeake is expected to generate up to $1.8 billion in total investment and revenue for the State of Maryland over the life of the agreement. It also will generate $15.7 million per year in new taxes for Maryland.  The 5,700 jobs created by this agreement include:  3,000 jobs to build the new berth for the Port of Baltimore and for related Maryland highway projects, and another 2,700 jobs to handle the anticipated increased container business that the Port will begin to see very soon.

“The Seagirt P3 is an important milestone. For Maryland it is creating 5,700 jobs and continuing the leadership of the Port of Baltimore,” said Christopher H. Lee, Founder and Managing Partner of Highstar Capital. “The longer term economic benefits to our state are immense. For America, it shows that the public sector and the private sector can truly partner together on a win-win basis to bring our infrastructure back to the world class levels we last enjoyed in the 1960’s without onerous tax hikes and hard political choices between investment, jobs and the health and welfare of all Americans. I thank Governor O’Malley for his extraordinary leadership in setting an example for all 50 states and once again proving that in Maryland, we get things done, the right way.”

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