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Infrastructure: Brownsville, Everglades, New Orleans

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The Port of Brownsville opened a new entrance for truck traffic on February 19. IT Minerals will  invest $4.5 million in an importing, processing and exporting facility to be sited on property leased from the Port of New Orleans. Beginning this September, a second runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will facilitate air/sea passenger traveler patrons of Port Everglades’ cruise terminals.

Brownsville Unveils New Port Entrance 

The Port of Brownsville on Feb. 19 hosted a ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony for its port entrance at the intersections of state highways 550 and 48. Built at a cost of $825,000, the installation consists of a canopy, security and inspection facilities and a secondary inspection area for trucks and vehicles. Funding came from the federal Port Security Grant Program. It was completed on time and within budget. 

"This new entrance will serve as the primary vehicular gateway to the Port of Brownsville and serves as a direct connector for truck traffic to and from the port to Interstate 69," said Brownsville Port Director Eduardo A. Campirano. "Furthermore, it demonstrates the collaboration between the Texas Department of Transportation, the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority and the Port of Brownsville in completing this segment of the SH550 Project."


New Airport Runway will Facilitate Air/Sea Travel by Port Everglades Cruisers

Air-sea travelers will find Port Everglades even more convenient when a second runway at neighboring Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) opens in September 2014. The 8,000-foot runway will help improve flight times and reduce delays at FLL. In addition, FLL’s Terminal 4 will expand from 10 to 14 gates, with increased concession choices for passengers. 

"Our airport and seaport are within two miles of each other, which is wonderful for cruise passengers who can take advantage of discount air fares and short rides to their cruise ships," said Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief. "It is also a wonderful advantage for our residents who benefit economically through job creation and retention.

Of the roughly 23 million passengers that passed through FLL in 2013 an estimated 15 percent were going on a cruise out of Port Everglades. 

FLL offers more than 300 departures and 300 arrivals a day and nonstop service to more than 100 U.S. cities and international service to Canada, Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America and Europe. 

Port Everglades is one of the world’s busiest cruise ports, with nearly 4.0 million passengers expected in 2014. Eight cruise lines, one ferry and more than 40 cruise ships sail from the South Florida seaport.

IT Minerals to Site $4.5 Million Facility at the Port of New Orleans

IT Minerals announced February 28 it would invest $4.5 million capital investment to establish an importing, processing and exporting facility at the Port of New Orleans for minerals sourced from Mexico and other countries. 

IT Minerals imports and processes raw industrial minerals from sources in Mexico and other countries, such as Brazil and South Africa, with New Orleans serving as a location where value will be added to the product. Its products are used in multiple industries as a lightweight aggregate or as stabilizing filler. In New Orleans, natural gas processing will heat and reform the minerals for different applications. Once processed, the product will be stored and prepared for export to commercial customers.

The IT Minerals facility will occupy a 2.5-acre site leased from the Port of New Orleans, for five years, with two five-year renewal options. The New Orleans expansion will consist of an elevated concrete foundation with prefabricated modular shipping containers serving as a base of operations. The site will serve as a manufacturing, processing and shipping facility.

As a port tenant, IT Minerals will gain access to the Industrial Canal and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. The company will ship raw materials from igneous rock quarries in north central Mexico by rail to Louisiana. The project will provide a processing and shipment point that initially will serve U.S. markets followed by the Caribbean and the Central and South American markets.

The port and the belt railroad provided key assets in attracting IT Minerals to Louisiana. IT Minerals estimates that approximately 6,000 metric tons of product will be processed in the first year of operation and 12,000 tons in the second year. The project will create 12 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $34,000 a year, plus benefits.

"As we explored our options for setting up our new facility, we found one that offered all the conveniences we were looking for: energy, logistics, land and a friendly business environment," said IT Minerals LLC CEO Jose Domene. "We had to look no further – the Port of New Orleans offered all we were looking for with the best attitude ever. We are sure that our investment in the area will continue to grow in the future."

For the Louisiana project, IT Minerals expects to generate 30 construction jobs at the peak of the building phase that will begin in the first quarter of 2014 and be completed by third quarter of 2014. Hiring for the permanent jobs will begin in early 2014. 

"The port welcomes IT Minerals as a tenant of our Industrial Real Estate Properties," said Port President Gary LaGrange, PPM®. "We are hopeful that IT Minerals’ business continues to grow at the Port of New Orleans, and in the future they are able to take advantage of the ability to export containers of perlite directly from their facility and out of the port’s new Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal."

The Intermodal Terminal is under construction and due for completion by the end of 2014.
 

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