WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Raised transmission lines over the Cape Fear River will make it easier for larger ships to reach the Port of Wilmington, port officials announced Thursday.
The new allowable air draft has been increased to 212 feet, allowing ships with a carrying capacity of 14,000 TEUs (20-foot-equivalent units) and greater to navigate to Wilmington.
“This project was critical for North Carolina Ports’ long-term success and further accentuates our big ship readiness capabilities.” said Brian E. Clark, Chief Operating Officer of North Carolina Ports. “Not only does it open the Port of Wilmington to some of the largest ships calling on United States East Coast, but it allows NC Ports to better support the needs of its customers.”
The four-month project led by Duke Energy included improvements to transmission towers in the Cape Fear River and replacing the existing lines. The transmission lines were raised a total of 41 feet.
“This was a strategic decision to virtually eliminate air draft issues that other ports in the southeast continue to face due to bridge restrictions,” said Paul J. Cozza, Executive Director of North Carolina Ports. “Our partner on this project, Duke Energy, recognized the critical need for this upgrade and worked diligently to create a solution.”