2017 February 15 16:02
Work is underway at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) on a $320 million expansion project that will nearly double the terminal’s annual cargo handling capability. The project is the first of two large-scale expansion projects that, when complete, will increase the port’s overall annual container capacity by 40 percent, or 1 million container units, by 2020, the company said in its press release.
Survey crews this morning began the preparatory work to expand the rail/container stacking yard at VIG. From a wider perspective, today’s work signals the start of the effort to double the existing container capacity at VIG. The overall project includes expanding the container stacking yard, doubling the on-dock rail operation and the expanding the truck gate.
The wharf work will create new berth space, which will be used to handle a larger class of container ship that will begin crisscrossing the Atlantic Ocean before year’s end. A longer wharf will make way for four new Suezclass container cranes that will handle the big ships and their cargo loads. The wharf project begins March 15 and is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2018.
When complete, the capacity expansion at VIG will create the ability to process 1.2 million containers annually at the terminal; present capacity there is 650,000 containers. Further, the expansion’s potential economic impact could result in 166,000 jobs across the Commonwealth, $22 billion in additional spending and more than $636 million in state and local taxes.
Last November, the port and Virginia International Gateway, LLC, agreed to a new long-term lease for the 576-acre facility. The lease, which went into effect Nov. 17, 2016, and extends through 2065, cleared the path forthe port to begin work on the expansion.
In July, the port will begin work on its other large capacity project: the expansion of the south stack/container yard at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT). This $350 million project will allow the port to create greater density for cargo at NIT and expand annual capacity there by 400,000 containers. For this project, the container stack yard will be completely reconfigured and it will be served by 60 new rail-mounted gantry cranes. The project will be complete by 2020.