Ag News

SHEP included in funding bill signed by President Trump

On Sept. 21, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 5895, an appropriations act providing funding for energy and water, the legislative branch, military construction and veterans affairs.

Under the bill, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program receives $6.84 billion, including $49 million for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) with the possibility of additional funding to help keep the project on track.

SHEP involves deepening Savannah Harbor and extending its shipping channel farther into the Atlantic Ocean, allowing the port to accommodate larger ships traveling to and coming from the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal. The larger ships are expected to reduce costs of transportation of agricultural commodities to foreign trade markets.

The deepening of the entrance channel to Savannah Harbor to 49 feet and extending it an additional seven miles is 60 percent complete according to the 2017 Georgia Ports Authority annual report. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that every dollar spent on SHEP construction will return $7.30 in economic benefits.