The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) authorized on Tuesday by an 8-2 vote a more than $300 million infrastructure improvement project at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 to facilitate growth in international marine cargo in the Seattle Harbor.
NWSA also approved a 32-year lease agreement with SSA Terminals LLC (SSAT) — a joint venture owned by SSA Terminals and Total Investment Limited Sàrl (TIL) — which will begin operating at the terminal once the first phase of construction is complete in 2021. The ports will spend about $340 million for the first phase of the redevelopment and SSAT is expected to add $140 million, King 5 News reported.
The lease term can be extended by mutual consent for two additional five-year terms.
The first phase of the project calls for 65 acres of rentable area, which can be expanded to 158.9 acres after the second phase of expansion. The lessee is responsible for four new cranes capable of working ultra large container vessels (ULCV) in both of the two phases. The lessee also will be responsible for bringing four of the six Port of Seattle-owned cranes at Terminal 5 back into service.
The investment is expected to result in 6,600 new direct jobs and more than $2 billion in business activity, NWSA said.
NWSA is expected to reach nearly 7 million TEUs in containerized cargo handled yearly by 2050 with a modernized Terminal 5, which is 1.6 million TEUs more than without the expansion, the alliance said.
“Terminal 5 will be able to handle the largest marine cargo vessels now being deployed in the Asia-Pacific trade route quickly and efficiently, providing a critical link for Washington state exports to Asian markets, both for agricultural products such as hay, apples and potatoes, as well containerized cargo for customers such as PACCAR and Starbucks,” said Clare Petrich, Port of Tacoma commission president and co-chair of the NWSA.
The current lease at Terminal 18 will be amended to introduce conditional consent for the lease to be assigned to SSAT and waive the rail fee. The current Terminal 46 lease with TTI will terminate early, which will allow international container cargo to be realigned to Terminal 18.