Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State unveils deal to lease, expand Port of Wilmington

Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney announced Thursday the state has struck a deal to expand the Port of Wilmington.


Gulftainer Group has a preliminary agreement with Delaware to lease the port and construct a new container shipping facility at the former DuPont Edgemoor site on the Delaware River.


Officials say the deal will significantly expand jobs to the Port of Wilmington over the next decade.


The Gulftainer Group is the largest private port operator in the world with 15 ports across four continents.



If the deal goes through, its subsidiary GT USA would lease the port for 50 years and pay the state millions in annual royalty payments based on cargo volume at the port. The state estimates those payments would grow from approximately $6 million in 2018 to $13 million by 2027.

It’s also committed to invest to the more than $580 million in the port itself and establish a training facility with the goal of training about a thousand workers a year.


Carney says the deal will boost the port's ability to remain a key source of good-paying jobs in the First State


“Creating more of those jobs is central to the economic success of our state, and the preliminary agreement we have on the table holds the promise of significant new investment at the Port that will expand job opportunities for years to come,” said Carney in a statement.


This is the first attempt to lure private investment to the port in five years.

In 2013, gas and petroleum giant Kinder Morgan proposed investing $200 million into the site, but lawmakers balked at that plan after union workers expressed concern they would lose their jobs due to automation or general layoffs.  Those union workers heavily lobbied lawmakers to block the deal backed by then Gov. Jack Markell (D).

The General Assembly narrowly passed a bill requiring legislative oversight of any deal to sell or lease the Port of Wilmington, effectively killing the plan.

The plan announced by the Carney Administrarion includes a stipulation that GT USA will guarantee the number of jobs held at the port by members of the International Longshoremen’s Association would not fall below current levels.

Related Content