A study has been completed on how to best utilize and expand the economic potential of New London Harbor and two other deep water ports in the state, Gov. Dannel Malloy has announced.
Malloy said the Connecticut Deep Water Port Strategy Study makes recommendations on how to retain existing services and areas for growth in New London, New Haven, and Bridgeport. The study was developed by the Department of Transportation, Department of Economic and Community Development, and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The California-based company Moffatt & Nichol completed the study along with subcontractor Beta Group Inc. of Hartford.
“This report is an important tool to strengthen the economic potential of Connecticut’s deep water resources,” Malloy said in a statement. “Expanding business development and creating jobs are keys to economic recovery, and this study highlights ways we can support our maritime industries and effectively compete for limited federal resources. By examining both short- and long-term options, we are in a better position to accelerate economic activity at all of our ports.”
The report specifically identifies New London's private ferry and dry cargo services as areas in need of retention and expansion. It identifies an opportunity for growth in the use of New London's port for wood pellet exports as well as imports of lumber, copper, steel, and fresh food.
“The recommendations in the study will help us determine the best ways to invest in and manage our ports,” said Commissioner Jim Redeker of the DOT. “Connecticut’s ports, like ports across the U.S., face major challenges. This study will help us build on our strengths, manage and leverage state investments, and more clearly assess the full potential of Connecticut ports.”
Malloy said the first step taken in response to the report will be the solicitation of an operator for State Pier. The DOT extended the current operator's contract while awaiting the results of the report, and the solicitation for an operator will be guided in part by the study results. The commissioners of the state departments involved will also continue to work with municipal officials, port authorities, and other people involved in port operations to review the findings and develop recommendations.