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Christie touts South Jersey projects in Paulsboro, Camden

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Gov. Chris Christie speaks Monday at the future site of a marine terminal in Paulsboro.
Gov. Chris Christie speaks Monday at the future site of a marine terminal in Paulsboro. - ()

A marine terminal in Paulsboro took one step closer to becoming a reality Monday, when Holt Logistics Corp. announced that it was partnering with the South Jersey Port Corporation in order to construct a future working port on the Delaware River that is expected to create 850 permanent jobs upon completion.

Located on a former BP refinery site, the 190-acre facility would have the capacity to handle major cargo and could open as soon as 2016.

“The Delaware River really has become a rising tide that can create abundant opportunities for new cargo and business growth for the entire region,” Holt Logistics president Leo Holt said.

Gov. Chris Christie made an appearance at the site Monday, calling the project a model example of public and private partnership.

“It’s a major step forward for us in implementing economic growth along the Delaware River and throughout the region in South Jersey,” Christie said.

As part of the Paulsboro deal with the SPJC, the state serves another interest as Holt is agreeing to give up some space at the Broadway Marine Terminal in Camden to energy industry manufacturer Holtec International, which held a separate news conference Monday afternoon in Camden to announce its intentions of moving there.

Last week, Holtec received approval from the Economic Development Authority for a 10-year, $260 million award—the third-largest ever of its kind—to build a new 600,000-square-foot manufacturing and design center on the Camden waterfront.

The project is expected to create 235 new jobs and retain 160 jobs that are currently in-state at the company’s corporate technology office in nearby Marlton. Holtec had also been considering a site in Charleston, S.C. for the proposed facility.

Christie said the project features the largest single investment of private capital in the city’s history.

“Camden is a city with a storied history and a troubled past,” Christie said. “We need to move past that troubled history and we need to develop new history of our own.”

Mayor Dana Redd added that as a result of the Economic Opportunity Act, Camden is “witnessing a tremendous amount of investment” and is “once again, poised for greatness.”

Redd said that Christie now calls the city “the new gold coast.”

“I’m proud to say, we are all bearing witness to Camden’s real transformation,” Redd said. “It is Camden’s time.”

Holtec president K.P. (Kris) Singh said his company is excited to grow alongside Camden, which if he has his way, may be where “nuclear energy’s rebirth” begins. No nuclear fuel, however, will be housed at the facility.

“In the next four years, we might transform this place,” Singh said. “Come back and see it in four years, Mayor Redd will proudly show you around. That is our vision.”

Singh is politically connected, serving on the Cooper University Health Care board chaired by South Jersey power broker George Norcross. Similarly, Norcross serves on Holtec’s board.

Norcross wasn’t on-hand Monday at the announcements but his brother, state Sen. Donald Norcross (D-Audbon), was.

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Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com and he is @AndrGeorge on Twitter.

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