North Carolina Ports

Stem to Stern Newsletter

May 2013

Table of Contents

Wood Pellet Facility Advances at Port of Wilmington

By Laura Blair, External Affairs Department

North Carolina Ports took a major step in entering the growing and highly competitive wood pellet industry. On May 29, the Board of Directors approved a lease and operating agreement between the Authority and Enviva Holdings, LP, one of the largest manufacturers of processed biomass fuel in the form of 100 percent wood pellets in the United States and Europe. This lease agreement was approved by the Council of State on June 4.

Per terms of the agreement, Enviva will develop an at-port wood pellet export facility that will receive, store and load sustainably-sourced wood pellets for export. These wood pellets are destined for Europe, where they will be used as a renewable energy source. The length of the contract is 21 years, with two five-year renewal options.

The facility will be operational no later than January 2015.

Wood pellets are in high demand by European nations seeking to replace coal-fired plants. Wood product exports is a fast-growing agricultural industry and North Carolina’s ports are in a prime location to service the wood pellet plants in production or slated to open in the near future. Enviva operates production facility in Ahoskie and just opened another in Northhampton.

Relocation of Main Entrance at Port of Morehead to Improve Traffic Flow

By Susan N. Pridgen, Communications Department

In an effort to improve the traffic flow from Arendell Street into the Port of Morehead City, the gate entrance is being moved further inside the port.

The work began on May 2 and is being performed by Daniels and Daniels Construction Company of Goldsboro, NC. The new gate is being relocated approximately 400 feet to the east of the present main gate location. This project will provide a new gatehouse, one outbound and three inbound traffic lanes, new traffic control gates, new security fencing and revised parking areas at the gate and the NC Maritime Building. The project is scheduled to be complete in late August.

In order to minimize traffic interruptions, the work will be completed in three phases. The third phase of the project, set to begin around the end of July, will have some traffic impact, which the Authority will work to minimize effects on residents and customers.

Tribute Paid to Those Who Served

The North Carolina State Ports Authority marked National Maritime Day with a special wreath laying ceremony on the Cape Fear River.

The colors were presented by the Ashley High School Naval JROTC and the ceremony concluded with a wreath laying in the Cape Fear River by members of the US Coast Guard to honor the memory of all the merchant mariners who gave their lives in wartime.

Middle East Ocean Carrier Brings New Ship to the Port of Wilmington

By Karen Fox, Business and Economic Development Department

Bahri (formally The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia) has brought its newest vessel to the Port of Wilmington. To commemorate the BAHRI ABHA’s first voyage, NC State Ports Authority Director of Liner Sales Tom Guthrie presented an engraved plaque to the vessel’s master, Alen Knego, during her port call on her return to the Middle East. Jaimie Wightman, left, Port Manager for Metro Ports, Susan Pridgen from the Ports Communications Department and Port Captain Shabbir Ahmed also participated in the plaque presentation. Metro Ports is Bahri’s agency in Wilmington.

The BAHRI ABHA is the first of six vessels that are scheduled to be built by Hyundai MIPO in South Korea. The new multi-purpose ships specialize in general, project and ro-ro cargo. At 26,000 DWT, the ships are 816 feet long - smaller than Bahri’s current fleet but with greater cargo lifting capabilities and lower fuel consumption. It is estimated that these lighter weight new vessels will consume 45% less fuel.

Bahri offers full container, roll on/roll off, and project cargo services to the Arabian Gulf, Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Their vessels call the Port of Wilmington every 21 days. The ocean carrier has been a customer at the Port of Wilmington for 30 years - chiefly exporting military supplies to Saudi Arabia.

Charlotte Inland Terminal Receives Safety Award

By Susan N. Pridgen, Communications Department

Employees at the Charlotte Inland Terminal (CIT) were recognized by the NC Department of Labor with a safety award for 12 consecutive years without a workplace injury. The award was presented April 26 at the annual safety awards banquet held at the Hilton Executive Park in Charlotte.

The awards honored outstanding on-the-job safety achievements of companies in the Charlotte area during calendar year 2012.

“I am very proud of our employees," said Kevin Cowan, Safety Officer. “It shows that safety awareness is high on everyone’s mind and they consistently help each other to work safely every day," Cowan concluded.

“Twelve years without a lost time accident is quite an accomplishment,” said Robert Dawson, Manager of the CIT. “I sure hope 13 is not an unlucky number!” said Dawson.

Tony Stroupe, CIT Equipment Operator/Checker is pictured with NCDOL Commissioner Cherrie Berry receiving the Safety Achievement Award.

The banquet was co-sponsored by the NC Department of Labor and the Safety and Health Council of NC.

Future Business Leaders Visit Port of Wilmington

By Susan N. Pridgen, Communications Department


Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) from West Brunswick High School in Shallotte, NC, got an inside look at the workings of the Port of Wilmington on May 10.

FBLA members are encouraged to participate in activities designed to assist them in making good career choices, so with encouragement from their teacher, they decided the Ports would be a great place to start.

Career Ready Program Coordinator for Brunswick County Schools, Amy Sanders, second from right, helped coordinate the tour and teacher Amanda Whitaker, left, who interned at the Port of Wilmington in 2010 was thrilled to return to the Ports.

According to Ms. Sanders, the Ports was chosen due to the positive experiences that teachers have had in the past while spending a week interning in various departments at the Ports.

Jason Smith and Lindsey Tereste from the Business Development Department served as their tour guides.

“The tour was wonderful and both the teachers and the students learned a great deal about the ports,” Sanders said. “We appreciate you allowing the students from West Brunswick to tour the NC Ports. It was a true learning experience and everyone was amazed with the operations,” Sanders concluded.