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The US Department of Transportation is giving the Massachusetts Port Authority $20 million to update the Paul W. Conley Container Terminal in South Boston, US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao’s office said Tuesday.

The money is part of the $900 million pool the US Department of Transportation set aside for 55 infrastructure projects across the country, Chao’s office said in a statement. The grant will cover about a third of the costs to renovate the container terminal at 700 Summer St.

Conley Container Terminal is the “only full-service container terminal in New England,” according to Massport. The terminal handles the Port of Boston’s container shipping and “1.5 million metric tons of cargo per year pass through this economic anchor for the region.”

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Chao’s office said the renovations will make the container terminal more environmentally efficient.

“The project will construct a new container yard capable of holding approximately 100,000 additional containers. Additionally, the project will deploy an innovative gate and logistics system and build an adjacent Cypher and E streets freight corridor to maximize intermodal efficiencies to and from the terminal,” the statement said.

Massport, which operates Conley, was “thrilled” to receive the grant.

“Continued investments in Conley Container Terminal help the Port of Boston remain competitive and keep more [than] 9,000 direct jobs in Boston. This grant will fund a variety of projects that are essential for the more than 2,500 New England businesses that already use Conley to connect to the global economy,” Massport said in a statement.

The grant was funded by the Department of Transportation’s better utilizing investments to leverage development program.

Chao’s office allocated nearly $20 million for the town of Lubec, Maine, to build a harbor, and $12 million for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to construct a bridge over the Connecticut River along Route 119.

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Alyssa Lukpat can be reached at alyssa.lukpat@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaLukpat.