The Port of Wilmington on Monday completed the $10 million purchase of the Chemours Edge Moor manufacturing site on the Delaware River. Now the port is seeking private investors and businesses to build a container and shipping terminal on the 112-acre site.
Chemours operated a titanium dioxide production center, which produced whitener for paper, on the property until 2015. The shutdown happened just months after Chemours split off from its parent company DuPont.
The Port of Wilmington has since developed a master plan for revitalizing the port and the surrounding waterfront. The purchase fits into that plan.
"We see this as an opportunity for expansion," said Gene Bailey, executive director of Diamond State Port Corp, the company that owns the port.
The Port of Wilmington draws 400 vessels each year. It generates $417 million in annual business revenue and supports 5,600 jobs annually. In recent years, however, the port has fallen on hard times. It's facilities have aged, and whole shipping berths remain underused.
The strategic plan, released in early 2016, notes the development of the Edge Moor site as an alternative to extensive capital investments in the existing port. But until an operator is lined up, it's uncertain what this means for the larger plan.
"We've had some meetings with potential users," he said. "It's hard to predict what the actual outcome will be."