Governor Bob Riley today visited the Alabama State Docks to celebrate the outstanding success of Alabama’s seaport and highlight the significant impact it has made on the state’s economy.
On site at the new Pinto Terminal, Governor Riley was joined by Congressman Jo Bonner, Alabama State Port Authority CEO Jimmy Lyons and ThyssenKrupp Steel USA President and CEO Christoph Lackinger to watch as 40-ton steel slabs were being transferred onto barges for transport up the Mobile River to the ThyssenKrupp steel manufacturing facility.
Projects like steel-making giant ThyssenKrupp are proof of the healthy return the state has seen from strategic investments in the port, Governor Riley said.
“Our investments in Alabama’s port have paid off in jobs and opportunities for families throughout the state,” Governor Riley said. “Even though it is located in Mobile and supports a thriving maritime industry here, our port’s impact reaches literally into every corner of Alabama.”
In the last 10 years, Alabama’s port has grown from the 14th to the 9th largest seaport in the United States with a total economic impact of $7.9 billion. In 2005, Governor Riley championed a bill to invest $80 million to fund a major expansion that included a container and intermodal terminal. This expansion allowed the port to more than quadruple its container capacity and contribute to the creation of more than 67,000 jobs.
Seaport improvements have played a key role in helping Alabama recruit major industries such as ThyssenKrupp, Berg Spiral Pipe, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Aker Solutions, Hyundai Heavy Industries, International Shipholding Inc., ICS Logistics and APM Terminals.
The state’s commitment to funding and seeking business for Alabama’s seaport is something the next administration and Legislature should continue, Governor Riley said.
“Such tremendous success doesn’t happen all by itself,” Governor Riley said. “It takes a real understanding of what a catalyst the port is for economic development along with a commitment to making strategic investments that enhance the port and keep it competitive.”
“Alabama’s continued leading role in industrial recruitment and economic transformation is due to Governor Riley’s strategic vision to enhance our state’s infrastructure,” said Congressman Bonner. “The expansion of the Port of Mobile, in particular, has reverberations that impact practically every corner of Alabama and a number of surrounding states. Alabama possesses all the ingredients to grow our economy -- an abundance of natural resources, a great climate, a highly motivated workforce, and a top ten U.S. deepwater seaport. I wish to thank Governor Riley for his leadership and support of the modernization of the Port of Mobile, one of Alabama’s greatest economic assets.”
Some significant developments that have led to the success and growth of Alabama’s port are:
New $300 million marine container facility that quadrupled capacity from 32,000 containers in 2005 to more than 130,000 containers today.
Pinto Terminal, the $110 million state-of-the-art facility that supplies the new ThyssenKrupp steel facility with its raw material from Brazil. Landing the ThyssenKrupp mega-project would not have been possible without the development of the Pinto Terminal.
$110 Million investment at the McDuffie Coal Terminal that helped Alabama coal producers compete in the global economy.
International Shipholding Inc.’s $28 million rail ferry terminal that provides a secure, efficient and cost competitive link to markets in Mexico. The service can shave upwards of 20 days off the more traditional rail movements westward and across the land border.
The new $33 million 1,175-foot turning basin that will allow larger vessels to access the Port of Mobile and provide shippers with efficiencies in economies of scale to export Alabama’s raw materials and manufactured goods to the world