Friday, April 6, 2012

Port of Long Beach Finalizes Record Lease

Orient Overseas Container Line on April 3 officially signed a 40-year, $4.6 billion lease with the Port of Long Beach to operate the port’s under-development 300-acre Middle Harbor terminal.

“I can’t overstate the significance of this agreement,” port Executive Director Chris Lytle said in a news release announcing the finalization. “It is the largest and most far-reaching terminal lease ever at the Port of Long Beach.”

The Middle Harbor redevelopment project consists of the combining of two aging shipping terminals into one modern facility to improve cargo-movement efficiency and environmental performance.

Under the nine-year, $1.2 billion project, which began in the spring of 2011, the port’s upgrading the area’s wharfs, water access and storage area, plus expanding on-dock rail. The lease will give OOCL and its subsidiary, Long Beach Container Terminal, full use of the facility.

A ceremony marking the lease’s signing was held April 3 at OOCL’s Hong Kong headquarters. In attendance were Lytle, OOCL CEO Philip Chow, members of the port’s harbor commission and representatives from the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

During the ceremony, Harbor Commission President Susan Anderson Wise presented Chow with a glass sculpture by California artist Paul Harrie. In return, Chow presented the port with a vase on behalf of OOCL.

A ceremonial groundbreaking is also scheduled for Port of Long Beach in May.