A hearing was held by the Virginia Port Authority Board on Thursday, October 4th in Norfolk to seek public input to the proposals for operating the Port of Virginia.
Nearly 350 attended the hearing and 36 speakers provided comment following brief presentations by APM Terminals, Inc., and Virginia International Terminals. Ryan Pedraza, Project Manager from the Virginia Office of Transportation, Public-Private partnerships, also discussed the evaluation process.
Virginia Port Authority Board Chair Mike Quillen opened the hearing by indicating that the board has not taken a position and will not do so until an independent review occurs. He also reiterated that no sale was being considered, that public input was critical to the process and that the PPTA proposals recommend switching from the current operator to V.P.A becoming a landlord tenant as utilized by other global ports.
The future evaluation process will require that detailed plans be submitted by November 1st with evaluation presentations by November 22.
Eric Sisco, President of APM Terminals Americas Region, gave a presentation on his firm’s interest in operating the Commonwealth’s ports. Mr. Sisco indicated that APM was the second largest port operator in the world with over 60 ocean terminals.
He discussed the firm’s history in the region starting in 1975 as a tenant in Portsmouth and their vision to develop the most technologically advanced terminal in the world. The APM project cost $540 million to build and it was recognized for its environmental stewardship.
Mr. Sisco said that APM could be a force multiplier for the Port with $300 million to invest in modernization and expansion of N.I.T. The overall value of the APM proposal is $3.1 to $3.9 billion. One of the key components of the proposal is the transfer of ownership of the APM Terminal in Portsmouth to the Commonwealth. Mr. Sisco concluded by referencing the value added development in the region that would occur with the development of the port.
Mr. Joseph Ruddy, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Virginia International Terminals spoke on behalf of the current operator.
Highlights of Mr. Ruddy’s presentation are as follows:
Mr. Bob Aston, Chairman and CEO of TowneBank made remarks on behalf of V.I.T. Points made by Mr. Aston include:
Joe Dorto, President and CEO of Virginia International Terminals spoke as a private citizen. Highlights from Mr. Dorto’s comments:
Additional speakers represented shipping lines, custom houses, the International Longshoreman Association and many other business “stakeholders” in the port. Many were opposed to privatization and others supported the current operator, V.I.T.
Comments may be made at the following web address:
For further information contact:
Senior Vice President
Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce