Groundbreaking Ceremony Marks the Beginning of the Rise of the Holtec Technology Campus on the Delaware Waterfront, in Camden, NJ

In the pleasant, sunny afternoon of July 1, 2015, local and state officials led by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno (see photo above), joined by over 200 community leaders and stakeholders, witnessed the first of four thousand large concrete-filled steel piles to firmly pierce the ground, which will form the support foundation for the massive structures of the new Holtec Technology Campus. The Campus will house Holtec’s corporate engineering center, two large manufacturing plants, a reactor test loop and a number of ancillary facilities.

Groundbreaking Participants from left to right: Mr. Kevin Castagnola (Executive Director & CEO of SJ Port Corp.); Richard Alaimo (Chairman of SJ Port Corp.); Mr. Pierre Oneid (Senior V.P. and Chief Nuclear Officer of Holtec); Mr. William Levis (President & Chief Operating Officer of PSEG); NJ State Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez; U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross; NJ Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno; Dr. Kris Singh (President & Chief Executive Officer of Holtec); Camden Mayor Dana Redd; Mr. Frank Moran (City of Camden Council President); Mr. Louis Cappelli (Camden County Freeholder Director); Mr. Joseph Jingoli (CEO of Joseph Jingoli & Son); Mr. PK Chaudhary (Holtec Senior V.P. of Operations); Mr. Allen Hickman (Holtec V.P. of Manufacturing and Supply)
Groundbreaking Participants from left to right: Mr. Kevin Castagnola (Executive Director & CEO of SJ Port Corp.); Richard Alaimo (Chairman of SJ Port Corp.); Mr. Pierre Oneid (Senior V.P. and Chief Nuclear Officer of Holtec); Mr. William Levis (President & Chief Operating Officer of PSEG); NJ State Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez; U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross; NJ Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno; Dr. Kris Singh (President & Chief Executive Officer of Holtec); Camden Mayor Dana Redd; Mr. Frank Moran (City of Camden Council President); Mr. Louis Cappelli (Camden County Freeholder Director); Mr. Joseph Jingoli (CEO of Joseph Jingoli & Son); Mr. PK Chaudhary (Holtec Senior V.P. of Operations); Mr. Allen Hickman (Holtec V.P. of Manufacturing and Supply)

The Groundbreaking Ceremony was officiated by Camden Mayor Dana Redd, who thanked Dr. Singh for his commitment to Camden by investing more than $260 million dollars to create a state-of-the-art Technology Campus on the Camden waterfront, which she claimed, “will not only transform Camden, but also the region.” Adding that the Technology Campus represents a “commitment of jobs both for the short term and the long term … these are real jobs for real people to get the economic engine started again in our city.”

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Holtec President and CEO, Dr. Singh informed the assembled audience that, though the project team has cleared the site, removing all of the hazardous material in remarkable time, the extensive amount of hazardous material has slowed the project, declaring, “… we have taken 50 acres in Camden and made this land pristine and clean without a trace of hazardous material.” Calling the future Holtec Technology Campus a “cathedral of industry”, Dr. Singh proclaimed that, “… our Campus will be the place where our innovations will be developed, nurtured, nourished and manufactured.” Firmly predicting that the city of Camden will be the birthplace for Holtec’s transformative “walk away safe” small modular reactor, SMR-160, he repeated his oft-stated reason for selecting the city of Camden as the location for the new Campus, “the residents of Camden need a path out of hereditary poverty. We, as a successful company, have an obligation to show them that pathway to middle class.”

The first of 4,000 large concrete-filled steel piles to form the support foundation for the new Holtec Technology Campus
The first of 4,000 large concrete-filled steel piles to form the support foundation for the new Holtec Technology Campus

President and Chief Operating Officer of PSEG, Mr. William Levis, hailed the expanding partnership between PSEG and Holtec because “Holtec is the best at what they do.” Mr. Levis said he has a shared vision with Dr. Singh that, “this [Camden] will be the birthplace and the center of the universe for the small modular reactor whose benefits of nuclear power – that is a safe, reliable, and clean source of energy – will be felt throughout the world.”

From left to right: Congressman Donald Norcross, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Dr. Kris Singh, Mayor Dana Redd, Mr. Frank Moran
From left to right: Congressman Donald Norcross, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Dr. Kris Singh, Mayor Dana Redd, Mr. Frank Moran

Congressman Donald Norcross, a longtime resident of Camden, pointing towards the now cleared area on the grounds of the former New York Shipyard, reminisced, “right out here, the NS Savanah was built, the first nuclear powered merchant ship in American history. And here we are today about to make history again where the next generation of plants to produce clean, reliable, carbon-free, energy will be built.

From left to right: Mr. William Levis, Mayor Dana Redd, Mr. Pierre Oneid
From left to right: Mr. William Levis, Mayor Dana Redd, Mr. Pierre Oneid

Lieutenant Governor Guadagno stressed that the state officials and Mayor Redd worked together on every level and across the aisle to make this project a reality. Extolling Holtec’s role, she stated, “Today, I think it’s fair to say that in addition to Campbell’s Soup, Holtec is the anchor tenant for the city of Camden.” Lieutenant Governor Guadagno thanked Dr. Singh for his commitment to the state of New Jersey and the city of Camden by making the largest private investment in Camden history.

Media Files: HH 30.06

Written by Amy Grant

Amy Grant is a graphic designer and web developer. She is the founder of the Southwark Historical Society, a volunteer based group that studies the Southwark Historical District located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.