The long-awaited Paulsboro Marine Terminal project took a step forward Monday when Holt Logistics Corp. partnered with the South Jersey Port Corp. for the construction of the new terminal, which promises to bring hundreds of new jobs to the area.
Gov. Chris Christie, state Senate President Steve Sweeney and local elected officials joined representatives from Holt and SJPC in the blistering heat Monday afternoon to commemorate the deal.
Paulsboro’s port location has been vacant for more than a decade, when the BP oil refinery that was previously located there closed its doors.
When complete, its terminal is expected to cover 150 acres of waterfront land, with possible expansion to 190 acres.
The first new marine terminal to be built in South Jersey in the last 50 years, the Port of Paulsboro is expected to be a multi-purpose terminal with more than 850 new jobs.
“This is huge for Paulsboro because this is a major renaissance of the old BP facility,” said Leo Holt, president of Holt Logistics. “The finish line, for the first time in a long time, is in view.”
A new pier will be built within the next 18 to 20 months, according to Holt, and tenants will begin filling the port shortly thereafter.
In addition to the job creation expected at the marine terminal, a domino-effect of economic development is also expected, with the entire South Jersey region benefiting from its completion.
“It’s truly a case of a rising tide lifts all boats,” Holt said.
Construction on the Paulsboro Marine Terminal began in 2011. It will provide 1,500 linear feet of deep water berths and be available for companies to use in shipping a multitude of products down the Delaware River and into the global marketplace.
At Monday’s announcement ceremony, Christie touted the public-private partnership that allowed the Camden-based Holt Logistics to expand to Paulsboro.
“It’s a major step forward for us in implementing economic growth along the Delaware River and throughout the region in South Jersey,” Christie said. “This is phase one of the new marine terminal. It is a project that will enhance economic development for all the people here in South Jersey. As a result it will improve the quality of life for the people of Paulsboro and throughout our state.”
Sweeney and Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who have been working together for more than 10 years to get this port project off the ground, echoed Christie’s sentiments and agreed that job creation is the most important aspect of its development.
“This is going to create hundreds of jobs. We want to make sure we get hundreds of residents jobs here. This is an enormous victory for the people of this state,” Sweeney said.
Redevelopment of the Paulsboro Marine Terminal is connected to planned construction in Camden of the new Holtec International manufacturing facility. As part of this agreement, Holt will give up a portion of the Pier 5 port facility in Camden in exchange for the opportunity to take over the operation at Paulsboro.