CHARLESTON, SC-After intense public opposition to building a proposed $1.2 billion shipping facility on Daniel Island called Global Gateway, the South Carolina State Port Authority directed its staff to study the feasibility of building a new port terminal. The research resulted in suggesting three potential sites: The Cooper River side of the island, the site of the former Charleston Naval Base, and a site on the Savannah River in Jasper County.

According to the studies, building a scaled-down version of the Daniel Island proposal would be the quickest way for the port to expand. The authority has not endorsed any of the three potential expansion sites and will continue to analyze the three options.

At its latest monthly meeting, the authority’s board agreed that each of the three sites has positives and negatives. According to the study, construction of a port terminal would take about seven years on Daniel Island or in Jasper County and about 10 years at the former naval base, which could be heavily contaminated.

The authority has estimated the port will run out of capacity within the next six to eight years. Shipping volume has risen about 16% during the past year. State and local officials believe a port expansion is necessary for South Carolina to continue attracting foreign investment and tapping export markets. The Port of Charleston is the country’s fourth-busiest container port.

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