Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Long Beach Approves Middle Harbor Lease

The Port of Long Beach’s Board of Harbor Commissioners on Feb. 27 voted unanimously to approve a 40 year, $4.6 billion lease for its presently under construction Middle Harbor Development Project.

The approval means that Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line and its subsidiary, Long Beach Container Terminal, can assume full control of the 300-plus acre property once renovations are complete by the end of the decade.

“I’m really excited to be part of this board at the time that this is being put into place. I think OOCL has shown itself already to be a good citizen in our community,” commission president Susan Anderson Wise said at the time of the vote. “To be able to enter this lease with them, which is really the future of the Port of Long Beach, I think it’s everything coming together, so this is really terrific.”

The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, which has been underway since spring 2011, combines two aging shipping terminals, Pier E and Pier F, into one modern terminal for the purpose of improving cargo-movement efficiency and reduction of environmental hazards.

LBCT has occupied Pier F since 1986.

The nine-year, $1.2 billion construction project upgrades wharfs, water access and storage area; as well as add a greatly expanded on-dock rail yard. The port says the project’s expected to cut air pollution and add thousands of jobs to the economy.

The port’s finance committee approved the deal Jan. 24.

Due to a technicality, the lease must still go through a second reading by the board before it becomes official. That reading’s tentatively planned for the board’s March 12 meeting.