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Feb. 13 - World Trade Center Seeks Nominations for International Business of the Year

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

February 13, 2019 - World Trade Center Savannah is now calling for nominations for the World Trade Center Savannah International Business of the Year Award.

Given annually, the award recognizes companies that excel in international trade and acknowledges the importance of trade to the region’s economy. This award is presented to encourage and recognize exemplary corporate leadership for international business or trade that advances relations between the U.S. and other nations as well as creates quality jobs in the region.

The nomination is open to companies of all sizes located in the Coastal Georgia region engaging in international business. Past winners include D.J. Powers, Savannah Bee Company, DIRTT Environmental Solutions and Gulfstream Aerospace.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 22. Nominations can be submitted online or for more information contact LeAndrea Mikell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

The award will be presented at the inaugural the Prosperity Through Trade Luncheon presented by World Trade Center Savannah, Thursday, May 9, 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, 2 W Bay St. Tickets are available at

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Feb. 13 - Thomas & Hutton Projects Move on to National Engineering Excellence Awards

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

February 13, 2019 - Thomas & Hutton recently announced that two of its projects, “South Carolina’s Framework for Freight” Camp Hall Rail and “Horry County Schools Think Energy Positive” were named Top 6 Engineering Excellence projects in South Carolina. The “Horry County Schools Think Energy Positive” project was awarded South Carolina’s highest honor – the Palmetto Award. Both projects now move into the national competition at the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) competition in May 2019. The national competition recognizes engineering firms that demonstrate an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement, and value through their submitted projects.

“Horry County Schools Think Energy Positive” project helped address Horry County’s rapid population and development growth, as well as future funding, with Horry County Schools embarking on a quarter billion-dollar endeavor to design and construct five new state-of-the-art, high efficiency, “energy positive” schools. These schools were built simultaneously, within 21 months, with intentional design to consume less energy than they generate on an annual basis to provide cost-savings over the lifetime of the schools.

The schools are completely new construction and are the first of its kind in Horry County and the Southeastern United States. Thomas & Hutton laid the groundwork in providing site planning, civil design, survey, and landscape architecture services. With a fundamental mission of efficiency, Thomas & Hutton’s main objectives were to foster an environment with safe and efficient transportation, provide sustainable site designs while meeting the energy goals of the project, and maintain cohesion across the school sites, in addition to accounting for the buildings’ architectural styles. All five schools were completed and ready for students in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 school years as scheduled.

“South Carolina’s Framework for Freight” Camp Hall Rail project includes a 25-mile long rail line connecting Camp Hall in Ridgeland to the CSX Generating Station in Cross, South Carolina. Development within the Camp Hall Commerce Park, including Volvo Cars, has increased demand for rail service. This rail line will allow trains to transport cars and goods from Camp Hall to inland distribution centers for distribution throughout the United States and internationally. Thomas & Hutton provided route and property surveys to analyze potential impacts and feasibility of running the rail line along privately-owned properties and environmentally sensitive lands.  With combined LiDAR and ground survey, this approach provided timely data collection for design and acquisition saving the state of South Carolina money. With full operation set for June 2020, the rail service will lessen the environmental and physical impact of hundreds of trucks on the already congested Interstate 26 corridor.


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Feb. 4 - Americold Acquires PortFresh Holdings, Plans to Develop State of the Art Facility to Support Temperature-Controlled Trade

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

February 4, 2019 - Americold Realty Trust recently announced that the Company has acquired privately-held PortFresh Holdings, LLC (“PortFresh”), a leading temperature-controlled operator servicing fresh produce trade primarily through the Port of Savannah. In connection with its acquisition of PortFresh, Americold plans to build a new 15 million cubic foot state-of-the-art cold storage facility on adjacent land owned by PortFresh. The total cost of the acquisition, including approximately 163 acres of contiguous land, is approximately $35 million. The cost of the planned new build is expected to be between $55 to $65 million. Americold funded the acquisition with cash on hand and expects to fund the development from available capital resources.

“The Port of Savannah is one of the fastest growing ports in the United States and has seen increased traffic of temperature-controlled trade. With this investment, Americold is fulfilling our customers’ requests to expand into this growing market, which provides an efficient and cost-effective solution to meet their import and export needs. We believe this development project represents a significant long term growth opportunity for the Company, as we continue to grow our scale and develop our partnership with the Port of Savannah,” said Fred Boehler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Americold Realty Trust.

The planned new facility will feature 37,000 pallet positions, advanced blast freezing capabilities, and space and infrastructure to support refrigerated-containerized trade. Americold expects to begin construction on the new facility in the first half of 2019, with the opening expected to be in the first quarter of 2020.

The Port of Savannah imported 1.8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containerized cargo in 2017, a 10.6% increase over 2016, making it the nation’s fourth-largest port, as reported by the 2018 U.S. Ports Report from Descartes Datamyne. The port’s Southern US location, ocean carrier network and access to transportation channels, including to growing markets in South America and Europe, reduces transportation time as compared to Northeastern ports, which require additional trucking and transport. The Port of Savannah continues to expand and has a stated strategy to double its storage capacity with its partners in the next 10 years.

“The Georgia Ports Authority is pleased to welcome Americold to the Savannah market,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “This announcement represents yet another expansion of Savannah’s position as a hub for the handling of cold and chilled cargoes, and complements the port’s continued on-terminal development of refrigerated cargo infrastructure.”

Brian Kastick, PortFresh’s Founder and CEO, has joined Americold with this acquisition and will help to grow the Company’s fresh produce business initiatives. “I am delighted to join the Americold platform at this exciting time. PortFresh has developed the import market for temperature controlled logistics in the Port of Savannah. I believe that Americold’s brand, platform and operational expertise will enhance PortFresh’s capabilities to serve both our existing and new customers,” stated Kastick.

The returns for the development project and acquisition are consistent with the Company’s stated return expectations for such projects upon stabilization.

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Feb. 11 - The Hipster Hound Now Offering Pet CPR and First Aid Classes

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

February 11, 2019 - The Hipster Hound, a full-service dog daycare in Savannah, is now offering PetSaver Training for pet owners and pet care professionals through PetTech, an international training center dedicated to providing premium Pet CPR, first aid and care programs for dogs and cats. Office Manager Alison Huffman recently completed the PetTech Instructor Training Program.

“Now pet owners and pet care professionals can learn CPR techniques and first aid skills, including dental and senior care for dogs and cats, increasing their ability to provide the safest care possible,” said Huffman. The premier 8-hour classes will be offered at 1 Diamond Causeway, Suite 13, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the following dates:

  • Saturday, Feb, 16

  • Sunday, Feb. 17

  • Saturday, March 30

The classes cost $99 and participants are encouraged to register online by visiting Pet first aid is the immediate care given to any pet that is injured or ill. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 1 out of 4 pets could be saved if just one pet first aid technique is used before transporting the animal to the veterinarian. For more information, call The Hipster Hound at 912-436-6560.

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Feb. 4 - Georgia Power files 20-year plan to meet Georgia’s future energy needs

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

February 4, 2019 - Last week Georgia Power filed its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). The company files an IRP every three years to outline how it will continue to deliver clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy to its 2.5 million customers over the next 20 years.

The 2019 plan is a result of the in-depth IRP process, which includes projections of future fuel costs, load and energy forecasts, an analysis of available generation technologies, the 10-year transmission plan, and an economic assessment of potential and proposed energy efficiency and demand response programs. The company also evaluates the cost-effectiveness of its generating resources given changing environmental regulations and emerging technologies and discusses the growing importance of resilience to the electric system.

“At Georgia Power, we are committed to making smart investments for Georgia’s energy future while ensuring our customers have the clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy they expect and deserve,” said Allen Reaves, senior vice president and senior production officer, Georgia Power. “Working with the Georgia Public Service Commission, we have invested in a diverse energy mix of nuclear, natural gas, hydro, renewables, coal and energy efficiency resources in order to maintain high levels of reliability for our customers that have resulted in rates that are 15 percent below the national average.”

As part of the filing, Georgia Power is proposing new renewable energy programs, including a request to approve the procurement of up to 1,000 MW* of new renewable resources. If approved, the company’s total renewable energy capacity would increase to 18 percent of Georgia Power’s already diverse portfolio by 2024.

The 2019 plan also proposes energy efficiency targets similar to those approved in previous IRPs, while adding new, innovative energy-saving programs for both residential and commercial customers. By 2022, these programs are designed to help reduce peak demand approximately 1,600 MW, which is 10 percent of the company’s current peak demand.

The company is emphasizing the importance of resilience in both generation and power delivery planning in recognition of the change in generation resources, availability of new and emerging technologies and related factors in providing reliable, affordable energy to customers.

“As our generation mix evolves toward more natural gas-fueled plants and intermittent renewable resources, resilience will grow in importance,” said Reaves. “This IRP discusses considerations that may go into future planning processes.”

Additionally, in its filing, the company is:

  • Requesting the decertification of four coal units at Plant Hammond near Rome, Ga.
  • Requesting the decertification of one coal unit at Plant McIntosh near Rincon in southeast Georgia.
  • Seeking approval to issue two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to explore potential market opportunities for future generation needs.
  • Acknowledging the continued economic pressure felt on coal-fired units, including Plant Bowen units 1 and 2 in Cartersville, Ga.
  • Proposing not to renew its operating licenses for the company’s Langdale and Riverview hydro project dams (representing 0.4 MW of generating resources) located on the Chattahoochee River in west Georgia, initiating a multi-year review process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that includes a request for eventual removal of the dams.
  • Seeking approval of the environmental compliance strategy, which includes Georgia Power’s plans to permanently close all of its ash ponds in full compliance with the federal Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule, as well as the more stringent requirements of Georgia’s state CCR rule. 

The filing initiates a series of additional filings and public hearings with the PSC. Following this process, the PSC is expected to vote on the company’s IRP request this summer.

To learn more about how Georgia Power is meeting the needs of customers through a diverse, balanced energy portfolio, visit

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