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General Assembly approves Port of Wilmington privitization deal

Delaware Public Media

State lawmakers have given their blessing to a plan to put the Port of Wilmington in the hands of a private operator.

A resolution signing off on a $580 million deal with Gulftainer to lease the port for 50 years sailed through both chambers of the General Assembly Tuesday.

The state Senate approved it 21-0 and the House passed it by a voice vote.

Under the plan, Gulftainer – a UAE port operator - will invest in upgrades to the current port facility and build a $410 million container terminal at the former DuPont Edgemoor site.

State officials have said the deal could create more than 5,000 new jobs while bringing the state between 6 and $13 million in revenue annually over the next 10 years through royalty fees.

Gov. John Carney (D)  thanked lawmakers for supporting the deal which he says will “protect and create good-paying, blue collar jobs at one of Delaware’s most important employment centers.”

The Carney Administration still needs to finalize the deal with Gulftainer, and have it reviewed and approved by the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.  

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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