NEW YORK The Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA) has approved an agreement with Alabama Steel Terminals LLC (AST) to develop a $36-million steel coil handling facility at ASPAs main docks complex in Mobile.
AST will build and operate a 372,600-square-foot warehouse, which will comprise both open and covered storage areas for steel coil handling. ASPA director and chief executive officer James K. Lyons told AMM that the project will commence after a contract is signed in the next few days, and that the first phase should be completed in the next 12 months.
Lyons said construction of the new facility was prompted by increasing demand from local mills shipping steel coil offshore via the Port of Mobile, as well as imports entering the port from Europe and Asia.
Were probably handling over 600,000 tonnes of steel coil (annually), and we feel our business can grow, Lyons said. So we feel that having a specialized facility that could provide quality handling and state-of-the-art inventory tracking would allow us to serve our customers better.
The projects first phase will entail the construction of 178,200 square feet of covered bay area, equipped with three 50-ton capacity overhead bridge cranes and capable of handling an estimated 650,000 tons of steel annually. The facility will also include 168,000 square feet of open storage yard at the site.
The second phase of the project will add 194,400 square feet to the covered bay area, equipped with three additional 50-ton capacity overhead bridge cranes. Both phases will create approximately 100 construction-related jobs generating $4 million in payroll and taxes, according to ASPA.
In February 2012, the Port of Mobile announced a $7 million plan to upgrade a steel-dedicated pier due to rising steel demand (amm.com, Feb. 29, 2012). Lyons said the $36 million facility is designed strictly for coil steel and will handle hot-rolled, cold-rolled, stainless and carbon steel coil.
To some degree, (the projects are) in very close proximity, Lyons said. This is designed strictly for coil steel, (the pier) is being designed for sheet pile and long beams, as well as coil steel.
Lyons added that steel is the ports second-most handled product behind coal, with more than 4 million tonnes in total passing through Mobile annually.
AST, a joint venture between TriState Maritime Services, Inc., and the Richardson Group of Companies, was one of several companies that vied to construct the facility.