MOBILE, ALA. — The Alabama State Port Authority board of directors approved a port-wide infrastructure investment program geared toward stimulating the economy and implementing efficient transportation solutions for one of the nation’s busiest seaports. The $360 million capital program identifies key public investment needs at the Port of Mobile to attract new industry, create newjobs, and increase Alabamaand regional shipper competitiveness through efficient transportation and terminal solutions.
“Back in 2000, the state docks identified a series of new infrastructure and seaport modernization programs that successfully leveraged an $100 million infusion of capital into $700 million worth of port improvements and attracted new manufacturers to our region,” said Jimmy Lyons, director and CEO for the Alabama State Port Authority. “That funding over the past 10 years not only modernized or created new public port assets, but also was integral to attracting global players like APM Terminals, International Shipholding Corp., Hyundai, ThyssenKrupp, SSAB, Berg Spiral Pipe, INEOS Phenol, and Aker Solutions. These companies in turn generated tens of thousands of construction jobs and an estimated 7,500 permanent jobs in our region. Now, we need to look forward to the next 10 years.”
The approved capital program is a comprehensive seaport investment package to construct new interchange and intermodal rail yards; a new warehouse and cargo yard improvements to serve a burgeoning steel business; cargo terminal improvements that will accommodate growing regional exports and deepwater oil- and gas-field production service industries; and to secure deepwater land to accommodate future public seaport expansions. “The program’s estimated $360 million would be expended in phases over the next five years as needed to accommodate our growing business,” Lyons said. The capital program was recommended by staff and was based on the Port Authority’s market assessments for growth with some projects generating 2,000 permanent new jobs within the port alone.
The Port of Mobile is currently ranked as the 9th largest U.S. seaport in total volume. The Alabama State Port Authority owns and operates the state of Alabama’s deepwater port facilities at the Port of Mobile. The Port Authority’s statewide economic impact totals $7.9 billion and has a direct and indirect jobs impact of nearly 67,000 jobs. The Port Authority’s container, general cargo, Ro/Ro, and bulk facilities have immediate access to two interstate systems, five Class 1 railroads, and nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterway connections.