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First ship arrives at Paulsboro Marine Terminal bringing steel and excitement

As the massive ship carrying steel was docked at the new Paulsboro Marine Terminal, representatives from Gloucester County, Holt Logistics Corp. and the local business community gathered to celebrate those who have been steering the port's existence into reality celebrated its arrival and the beginning of a new era for the region.

NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney, who along with Assemblyman John Burzichelli had the idea for the Paulsboro Marine Terminal and saw the idea through at every level, said, "This is one of the most exciting days of my career.  This is the first modern port to be built along the Delaware River in more than 50 years and a lot of people did not believe this day would ever come.  Well, here we are and this port is a game changer for our region."

Sweeney said, “We stood here in 2002 on a contaminated oil tank farm that BP had stopped using and we saw something, and now today everyone else can share in this vision.  This port is going to be booming.”

On of the first steps was the creation of the Port was the construction of the $23 million access road that diverts truck traffic from the areas neighborhoods.  Senator Sweeney, Assemblyman Burzichelli and Freeholder Director Damminger were instrumental in having the NJ DOT fund that project. 

By 2007, BP had agreed to remediate the brownfield, provide early funding for feasibility studies and planning, and lease 190 acres of land to Paulsboro for $1.00 for a 99-year term.  In 2009 ground was broken for the Paulsboro Marine Terminal.

Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who served as the Mayor of Paulsboro for 16 years, said, “The idea behind the creation of this Port was always to turn a brownsfield into a viable economic engine for our region and to create jobs.  There have been a lot of twists and turns in this journey, but the end result is we are now standing on the wharf of a modern port that will increase the prosperity of Paulsboro, Gloucester County and all of South Jersey.”

Gloucester County’s Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger, who grew up in Paulsboro and used to live across the street from the site said, “This is a true victory for our region.  Growing up in Paulsboro, everyone knew someone who worked on this property, and I am looking forward to that day again.” 

“We are grateful to so many who have made this happen, Senator Sweeney, Assemblyman Burzichelli, the South Jersey Port Corp, Holt Logistics, and NMLK USA,” said Director Damminger.  As of today more than 100 Gloucester County residents have been hired at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal.

“The vessel that started work this week at Paulsboro represents yet another example of the international communities’ increasing faith in the Delaware River and the abundant opportunities that exist for growth here,” said Leo Holt, President of Holt Logistics Corp.

“In the past 24 months, 185 Gloucester County residents have gained employment with Holt Logistics through our training and hiring programs.  Today, we can count over 100 active port workers in our system in Southern New Jersey, and expect these numbers to multiply exponentially in the coming years.  We are proud to be part of the economic engine that drives our riverside communities and provides safe, family-sustaining careers for our local residents.”

Bob Miller, NMLK USA’s President and CEO, added, “We are very excited to be the anchor tenant at the Paulsboro port.  We look forward to close cooperation with the state of New Jersey, the city of Paulsboro, and Holt Logistics, to ensure that our global supply chain, ending with American made steel by American workers at our plants in Pennsylvania and Indiana, is as efficient as possible.  It is exciting to see the number of jobs being impacted by this new site.”

“Funded through $175 million South Jersey Port Corporation bonds, the Paulsboro Marine Terminal is one of the most significant and prudent investments by and for the people of New Jersey in growing southern New Jersey’s economy and its vital role in international trade and commerce,” said Kevin Castagnola, Executive Director of the SJPC.  “This project is a prime example of an unwavering commitment and collaboration by our local and state leaders that made this a job-creating reality.”  “Moreover, it is a true public-private partnership between SJPC, Gloucester County, the Borough of Paulsboro, and Holt that has brought an expansion of New Jersey’s intermodal transportation infrastructure to grow water-borne commerce and energize the regional economy.”    

Holt Logistics has initially invested in excess of $12 million at the site, which represents the first phase of a private investment. Among the equipment in which Holt has invested are cranes, major rolling stock and capital equipment.

NMLK USA, who has the first ship officially to dock at this Paulsboro Marine Terminal, will be bringing at least two ships per month to be unloaded for the next year, and by 2018 ultimately a ship a week. 

NLMK USA is one of the leading suppliers of steel products in the US, and the supply chain for fundamental raw material, steel slabs, is a critical link in the success of their business plan.