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The Port of Virginia continued investing in its Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) this week, with new equipment put into service at the terminal and on the Richmond Express.Port crews put into service a portable, 40-plug central power unit that can be mounted on the Richmond Express barge and a specialized, heavy-lift forklift that will be used in the cargo operation at RMT, port officials said in a press release.Both pieces of equipment were funded in part with $446,747 in grant money from the federal government's Marine Highway Projects grant program. The power unit cost $222,700, and the forklift, $373,234. The port is contributed $119,186 in matching funds.The power unit will benefit RMT users in the food, beverage, refrigerated and discount grocery industry, said Virginia Port Authority Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director John Reinhart."The power unit enables us to provide a more comprehensive level of barge service to current and potential customers and continue to serve as a catalyst for commerce in the Richmond metro area and beyond," he said.Expanded refrigerated cargo capability on the barge is part of the port's strategic growth plan. The new forklift, with its 52,000-lb. lift capacity, opens up the possibility for new heavy or overweight cargo business, port officials said.Year-to-date cargo volumes moving across RMT continue to grow, port officials said. Through November, the terminal has processed 21,491 containers, which is growth of nearly 25 percent when compared with the same period in 2016.
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