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Port Access Attracts Industry To Mobile

Port Access Attracts Industry To Mobile

Gulf Coast city gains major steel mill.

Bob Dylan once lamented that he was "stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again." For manufacturers, though, rather than being a dead end, Mobile is becoming a destination of choice to locate their operations. In May, for instance, German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG announced that it plans to build a $4.19 billion steel plant just north of the city.

Mobile is located on the Gulf Coast, and the Alabama Port Authority's decision to build a new terminal on Pinto Island near Mobile played a major role in ThyssenKrupp's decision to locate there, the Associated Press reported. The new steel mill scheduled to open in 2010 will process flat carbon steel and stainless steel and is expected to employ approximately 2,700 people. The plant is reportedly the largest ever announced in Alabama.

Container berth in downtown Mobile.
In the past two years, the city has attracted several other large business investments from the aerospace and shipbuilding industries. In 2005 EADS North America selected Mobile's Brookley Industrial Complex as the site for production of its KC-330 tanker and as the location of a new Airbus engineering center. Shipbuilder Austal USA opened a shipyard in Mobile to build high-speed catamaran ferry ships. The yard opened in 2005 with approximately 200 employees and is expected to expand to 1,000 jobs, according to the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.

In February, IndustryWeek's sister magazine Expansion Management ranked Mobile No. 27 on its list of "America's 50 Hottest Cities" to expand or relocate facilities.

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