Award will fund nearly half of Husky Terminal Expansion Project, boost food exports and get WA agricultural products to markets, and reduce emissions
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, has announced that the Port of Tacoma will receive a $54,233,330 federal grant for phase one of the Husky Terminal Expansion project. The grant was awarded through the Cantwell-championed U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).
“This funding will double the capacity of the Port of Tacoma Husky Terminal for ultra-large ships and triple capacity for refrigerated containers, so that Washington state producers can export more apples, potatoes, seafood, and other products from the Port of Tacoma to markets across the globe,” said Sen. Cantwell. “This project is good for farmers, great for the environment, and will boost competitiveness of Washington’s ports and farmers.”
Congressman Derek Kilmer has been a staunch advocate for the Port’s funding. In April 2023, Rep. Kilmer expressed strong support for NWSA’s application to the 2023 Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) for its Husky Terminal Expansion Part One Project to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. The NWSA, a marine cargo operating partnership of the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma and manager of the Husky Terminal in Tacoma, applied for the award in April 2023. 

“This is a big deal – and it’s a testament to the steps we’re taking to grow the economy and build a sustainable future,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Here’s what this $54 million grant means: It means that the Port of Tacoma can keep leading the way in creating jobs and reducing emissions. It means we can expand this important terminal without the cost being solely borne by local taxpayers. It means our region can better compete in the 21st-century economy. And thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, it means that the Port of Tacoma will be at the forefront of trade and in shipping Washington state products all over the world.”
The Husky Terminal Expansion project will reconfigure the terminal yard to allow working two ultra-large ships instead of just one, install 40 racks for refrigerated containers, which will allow more agricultural and seafood exporters to utilize refrigerated containers at the Port of Tacoma to ship more product, and relocate the North Intermodal Yard Tower and other support structures to create more efficient truck routes on the terminal. 
The improvements triple the port’s refrigerated container capacity. This will support Washington state exporters who ship price- and time-sensitive refrigerated agricultural and seafood products. The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) is the 2nd largest export port for refrigerated products and the #1 gateway in North America for refrigerated apples because of its proximity to food processors and the State of Washington’s over $10 billion agricultural economy. There is unmet terminal handling capacity demand for some of Washington state’s top export commodities like apples and frozen french fries, as well as seafood, beef, pork, and dairy products.
According to the NWSA application, reconfigurations to the port’s storage yard will also allow the terminal to work two ultra-large ships at the same time, instead of being limited to one.
Sen. Cantwell wrote a letter of support for the Port of Tacoma to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in June 2023. Of the 41 PIDP awards announced nationwide today, Washington state received the single largest award of any state.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. Cantwell worked to include a record $2.25 billion for the PIDPprogram in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In September 2021, Sen. Cantwell led a letter calling to boost funding for the program to help address the ongoing issues with port congestion.
Sen. Cantwell has consistently championed and coauthored the 2019 legislation that reauthorized MARAD and the PIDP grant program. MARAD and PIDP were reauthorized in the 2021 National Defense Reauthorization Act, a provision authored by Sen. Cantwell. 
Since 2019, Washington state has received a total of $113,005,433 in PIDP funding for five awards for ports across the state.