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SC Ports’ Leatherman Terminal recognized among top U.S. engineering projects

Butch Weber (center) and Walter Lagarenne (right of center) received a reward recognizing SC Ports’ engineering team and the project partners who worked together to build Leatherman Terminal. (Photo/Provided)

Posted on June 28, 2023

South Carolina Ports’ Leatherman Terminal was recognized as one of the top eight engineering projects in the country.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) recognized Leatherman Terminal as a 2023 Grand Award Winner and as a finalist for the 2023 Grand Conceptor Award, which signifies the year’s best overall engineering achievement.

“The SC Ports’ engineering team is proud to receive this prestigious recognition from the American Council of Engineering Companies,” said Walter Lagarenne, SC Ports’ Vice President of Engineering and Facilities. “Hundreds of people from every engineering discipline worked together on the site every day to build this container terminal. It was the best project coordination I’ve seen in my nearly 40-year career.”

The state-of-the-art Leatherman Terminal opened in April 2021, marking the first new greenfield container terminal to open in the U.S. since 2009.

The SC Ports’ engineering team worked with many contractors, including HDR Inc., Banks Construction Co., Samet Corp., Cape Romain/McLean A Joint Venture and Cape Romain Contractors Inc. The $1 billion project was finished on time and under budget.

“The complexities of building a container terminal require great teamwork and persistence over many years,” said Butch Weber, SC Ports’ General Manager of Project Management and Construction. “SC Ports is proud to add a world-class port terminal to the East Coast port market.”

Situated along the Cooper River in North Charleston, Leatherman Terminal’s 169-foot-tall ship-to-shore cranes can be seen throughout the Charleston region.

The terminal was designed with sustainability in mind. It boasts five electric ship-to-shore cranes and 25 hybrid rubber-tired gantry cranes to significantly reduce emissions.

Phase One of Leatherman Terminal can handle 700,000 TEUs of cargo and a 20,000-TEU vessel. At full buildout, the terminal will have three berths capable of handling 2.4 million TEUs of cargo.

“South Carolina Ports invests in port infrastructure to support South Carolina’s businesses, and our amazing engineering team brings these projects to life,” SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin said. “Congratulations to the team for this great success. Leatherman Terminal will support Southeast supply chains for years to come.”


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