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Industrial Development: Alabama, Corpus Christi, Indiana, New Orleans

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The Alabama State Port Authority is purchasing two industrial tracts to accommodate its rapidly growing intermodal business. Construction began April 23 on voestalpine Texas’ $740 million hot briquetted iron (HBI) facility at Port Corpus Christi’s La Quinta Trade Gateway. Mill Steel Co. will establish a 225,000 square-foot flat rolled steel service center at the Ohio River Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville. TCU Plastics will develop a 500,000 square-foot logistic facility at its France Road hub in the Port of New Orleans.

Alabama State Port Authority Board Approves Land Acquisitions Offering Intermodal Growth Opportunity

The board of directors of the Alabama State Port Authority on May 2 authorized the purchase of two industrial tracts adjacent to the port authority’s Choctaw Point Complex in the Port of Mobile. "Both of these properties are strategic to the Port Authority’s long-range growth by providing expansion opportunities for the port’s intermodal investments," said Port Authority CEO Jimmy Lyons.

The Choctaw Complex includes APM Terminals Mobile, the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility and the Intermodal Logistics Park. It has immediate access to two interstate systems and five Class 1 railroads.

The 35.28-acre tract is located on the seaport’s federal shipping channel and adjacent to APM Terminals Mobile, the port’s increasingly busy container facility.

A separate 63-acre tract is located along Interstate 10 and adjacent to the port authority’s Intermodal Logistics Park. This property provides space for investments that would utilize the container and intermodal rail facilities at Choctaw Point. Approximately 95 acres at the Intermodal Logistics Park are currently available for warehousing, distribution and light manufacturing applications.

The port authority owns and operates Alabama’s public, deep-water port facilities at the Port of Mobile, which handles more than 25 million tons of cargo annually, supports more than 127,500 jobs and generates $18.7 billion in economic value.

Aerial of the Choctaw Point complex identifying the location of the additional properties authorized for purchase by the Alabama State Port Authority. The APM Terminals Mobile container terminal dock is visible in the lower left, just above the "35.38 tract."
Photo/Alabama State Port Authority

Corpus Christi: Austrian Steel Maker Begins Construction of $740 million HBI Facility at La Quinta Trade Gateway 

A groundbreaking on April 23 celebrated the beginning of construction on voestalpine Texas’ $740 million hot briquetted iron (HBI) facility at Port Corpus Christi’s La Quinta Trade Gateway. The company is owned by a steel making and processing group headquartered in Linz, Austria.

The facility will produce high quality HBI, a key material in the raw steel making process. Approximately 1,000 jobs are anticipated to be created during construction of the facility. Once operational, voestalpine Texas will employ 150 full-time staff. According to the port, it will also generate approximately 5.0 million tons of waterborne cargo annually, including 3.0 million tons of iron ore pellets inbound and 2.0 million tons of HBI outbound.

The voestalpine Texas facility will produce approximately 2.0 million tons of high-quality HBI annually using natural gas as an agent in the direct reduction process. Approximately half of the HBI will be exported to voestalpine’s plants in Austria. The rest will be procured by international customers and placed in voestalpine’s strategic reserves.

"We are excited about what the future holds for voestalpine Texas, the South Texas region and Port Corpus Christi," said Port Commission Chair Judy Hawley. "voestalpine’s selection of Port Corpus Christi’s La Quinta Trade Gateway for their largest U.S. investment has greatly helped to shine more light on our region. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with voestalpine. Their forward thinking and desire for sustainable growth is something that we are proud to have a part in."

Mill Steel Co. Building $16 Million Steel Service Center at Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville

Mill Steel Co., a flat rolled steel service provider headquartered in Grand Rapids (MI), has purchased a 105,000-square-foot facility at the Ohio River Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville and plans its immediate expansion to 225,000 square feet. The enlarged structure will house two state-of-the-art slitting lines and a cut-to-length line. The facility will be operational starting in June 2014. The company’s $16.1 million capital investment will create an estimated 43 full-time positions.

The port will provide Mill Steel with direct connections to multiple rail carriers and year-round barge shipping with access to the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes through the Ohio-Mississippi river system. It is home to a "Steel Campus" alliance of 13 businesses that work together providing a range of metals-related synergies at the Ohio River facility.

Mill Steel Co. is expected to further develop established relationships with other port service providers and companies such as Roll Forming Corp., Steel Dynamics, Voss Clark, Kinder Morgan, Omni Source and Metals USA.

"We are very excited by the opportunity to locate in Jeffersonville, which we feel is an outstanding complement to our existing steel service center processing locations," said Mill Steel CEO David Samrick. "We felt it was absolutely critical to position ourselves at a location that will enable us to continue our delivery of outstanding just-in-time services to our growing automotive, construction, appliance and general manufacturing customer base."

Jeffersonville is one of three public ports owned and managed by the state port authority, the Ports of Indiana, from its headquarters in Indianapolis. The others are Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan and Mount Vernon on the Ohio River.

"Mill Steel's advanced manufacturing capabilities are a perfect fit for our multimodal port environment," said Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper. "This company has an extremely impressive leadership team that is keenly aware of the competitive advantages created by our multimodal connectivity and existing synergies between the world-class steel processors located at the port. We welcome Mill Steel to our port family and look forward to helping the company expand its business in southern Indiana."

TCI Plastics to Build $36.5 Million Logistics Facility at Port of New Orleans TC "TCI Plastics to Build $36.5 Million Logistics Facility at Port of New Orleans"

Gov. Bobby Jindal and CEO Jack Jensen of Jensen Companies on April 28 announced the development of a new 500,000-square-foot logistics facility by TCI Plastics – a Jensen Companies division – at the Port of New Orleans.

TCI will make a $36.5 million capital investment to build the facility at its France Road Wharf hub, creating 160 direct jobs with an average salary of more than $33,400, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project will result in an additional 183 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 340 new jobs. TCI and Jensen Companies also will retain 200 existing jobs in the state, 120 of them in New Orleans.

The project continues TCI’s development of a mega-plastics district along an inner harbor cargo site between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. In July 2010, Gov. Jindal and Mr. Jensen announced a 150,000-square-foot facility to package and export plastics primarily produced by Louisiana chemical industries. The facility will increase the company’s ability to package and ship PVC resin and polyethylene while adding capability to manufacture plastic film on site to package the products. A substantial increase in plastics-based chemical production in Louisiana is driving the expansion.

As part of the project, TCI will acquire 32 acres from the Port of New Orleans for $3.1 million. That property near its existing France Road operations will provide space for the new building and additional expansion in the future. To meet the growing plastics shipping demand, TCI has leased more than 150,000 square feet of existing warehouse space and installed equipment at the Governor Nicholls Street Wharf in downtown New Orleans. The next expansion will enable TCI to build a state-of-the-art facility with new rail access to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad that serves the port.

TCI Plastics will begin construction in mid-2014, and the facility is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2016. The company will create 50 new direct jobs by 2015 and reach the full employment of 160 new jobs by 2020.

"Today’s announcement marks the culmination of a lot of hard work by the board of commissioners of the Port of New Orleans and our staff and economic development officials," said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange, PPM®. "TCI is a valued partner and a key player to capture new chemical cargoes primarily produced right here in Louisiana. We look forward to TCI's continued growth and success."


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