City of Wilmington, Delaware

WITN Channel 22 Wilmington, Delaware

Search WITN22

Delaware Joins Forces in Public-Private Partnership for New Port Development: Anticipates Creation of 6,000 Local Jobs

May 8, 2024

Delaware Partners with Enstructure to Construct State-of-the-Art Port Terminal in Edgemoor

WILMINGTON, DE. – Delaware has unveiled plans to collaborate with Enstructure, the private operator of the Port of Wilmington, in the development of a cutting-edge port terminal in Edgemoor, Delaware. This venture marks a significant milestone as the Edgemoor industrial site, acquired by the taxpayer-owned Diamond State Port Corporation (DSPC) in 2017, gears up for the construction of this groundbreaking project.

With an investment totaling $635 million, this ambitious infrastructure initiative will represent the largest expansion in Delaware’s maritime infrastructure since the inauguration of the current Port of Wilmington back in 1923. The envisioned state-of-the-art “green port” is poised to revolutionize Delaware’s maritime landscape, enhancing its competitiveness by quadrupling container cargo capacity and accommodating larger vessels. Anticipated to take around three years to complete, construction of the Edgemoor port terminal is primed to commence.

Projections suggest that the new Edgemoor terminal will catalyze the creation of nearly 6,000 job opportunities, with over 3,100 being direct positions. Moreover, it is forecasted to yield an estimated $39.4 million in annual state and local tax revenues. The construction phase alone is anticipated to generate over 3,900 jobs and contribute $42.3 million in tax revenues.

File Photo: Aerial view of the cranes at the Port of Wilmington Wednesday, September. 29, 2021; in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo by Saquan Stimpson

Upon reaching full operational capacity, “Port Delaware,” encompassing both the existing and new terminals, is expected to emerge as a robust employment hub, fostering approximately 11,480 jobs and generating $76.2 million in annual tax revenues for the state.

The existing Port of Wilmington has long been a cornerstone of Delaware’s economy, offering high-paying jobs that sustain local families. Many longshoremen at the port earn annual incomes surpassing $100,000, reflecting the industry’s significant economic impact.

The construction of the new port facility will unfold in three phases, with the initial phase slated for completion over an estimated 32-month period. The focus of the first phase will primarily revolve around waterside construction, encompassing the erection of a seawall, high deck, and dredging operations. Landside construction of the terminal infrastructure will follow, with proactive public engagement and community involvement integral to the process. Subsequent phases of the project will be executed by Enstructure in response to business demands.

Aerial footage captures the transformation underway at the former site of the Chemours titanium dioxide production facility, slated to evolve into the Edgemoor port terminal on Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Wilmington, DE. With a significant valuation of US$635 million, Delaware has pledged US$195 million to this ambitious initiative. The primary objective is to quadruple the port’s container cargo capacity, facilitating the handling of larger vessels. The construction timeline for the Edgemoor port is estimated to span approximately three years. Photo Credit: Saquan Stimpson | Part 107 Certified Drone Pilot

Under the financing framework, the State will bear approximately 31 percent of the construction costs, amounting to $195 million. Enstructure will shoulder the majority of the financial burden, contributing $170 million for Phase 1 and an additional $165 million for Phases 2 and 3, constituting 53 percent of the total project expenditure. The remaining funding will be sourced from federal allocations and the DSPC, with state funds drawn from surplus abandoned property revenues designated for specific one-time uses, including maritime terminal development.

A detailed explanation of the project, its benefits, and the economic impact can be viewed here.

State leaders and Enstructure joined in their support of the new port:

 “For decades, jobs at the Port of Wilmington have been a gateway into the middle class for thousands of workers and their families— the kind of jobs our state and country were built on,” said Governor John Carney. “This investment to expand the Port will position Delaware to compete for container cargo and larger ships. It will bring new, good-paying union jobs to Wilmington. I am pleased to see strong bipartisan support for this important and necessary next step in making the planned Edgemoor expansion a reality.”

House Speaker Valerie Longhurst said, “Investing in this new port is investing in Delaware’s future. One of the most important jobs we have as legislators is growing Delaware’s economy and keeping it strong.  We need to build this new port to keep our maritime economy competitive in the years ahead. The benefits of this new port will be felt for generations by thousands of Delaware families who will be able to buy a house, send kids to college and improve their quality of life.”

File photo: State representative VALERIE LONGHURST (Democrat of Delaware) gives remarks during a democratic watch party Tuesday, November 08, 2022; at The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Downtown Wilmington, Delaware. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

“This announcement is a major step forward in our efforts to make the City of Wilmington a major engine of Delaware’s economy and a source of strong union jobs once again,” Joint Capital Improvement (Bond) Committee co-chair Senator Jack Walsh said on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus. “I want to thank Governor John Carney for his unwavering commitment to expand the Port of Wilmington. This investment in our future fulfills that promise and will help thousands of Delaware workers support their families with good-paying union jobs. My colleagues and I on the Bond Committee are committed to working with Enstructure and our next governor to see this project through to completion for future generations of Delaware workers.”

Senate Republican Leader Gerald Hocker added, “Investing in modern public infrastructure is a great way to ensure a strong economy for the future. The existing port has created jobs and small business opportunities for over 100 years. This new port will be a critical piece of strengthening Delaware’s economy for the next hundred years.”

“Our Port generates thousands of great paying jobs statewide from Delaware River & Bay Pilots in Sussex to longshoremen in Wilmington,” said House Republican Leader Mike Ramone.  “Investing in Delaware’s infrastructure is a top priority.  This state-of-the-art ‘green port’ terminal will not only result in the productive re-use of a highly visible but vacant industrial site, it also assures future Delawareans have access to maritime careers of the future.”

“I am excited for the opportunities this new port site will bring to Delaware. Thousands of Delawareans including many of my constituents will benefit from this construction whether directly through jobs or indirectly from the increased economic activity in their communities,” stated Bond Bill Chair Representative Deb Heffernan. “As I have said since this project was first theorized, a project of this size and scale only works with constant and consistent communication with the community. DSPC and Enstructure have made guarantees to hold community meetings, establish a community advisory board made up of local community members, and develop and continually update a website with information on the construction process. I will be watching to ensure these promises are kept and our community is kept up to date on this project that has the potential to benefit us all.”

“We are excited to partner with the State of Delaware, the Diamond State Port Corporation, the Delaware Building Trades and the International Longshoremen’s Association to significantly expand Delaware’s port infrastructure,” said Enstructure Co-CEOs Matthew Satnick and Philippe De Montigny. “The Port Delaware Container Terminal will broaden Enstructure’s terminal network and logistics services, while enhancing our ability to serve our customers.”