Posted: Mar 13, 2013 11:26 AM by Ben Lloyd - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Mar 13, 2013 6:57 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - An Austrian firm that deals in steel production has chosen to partner with the Port of Corpus Christi in the development of a new 500 acre plant at the La Quinta Trade Gateway on land in San Patricio County.
The voestalpine Group is in the process of submitting paperwork to state and federal officials for an air quality permit. If approved, the plant would be the largest tenant at the site.
A release from the firm noted, "environmental regulations in the USA are similarly stringent to those in Europe, however, relative to CO2, 'Texas is taking a different route.'"
According to the Port of Corpus Christi, the firm intends to use natural gas, rather than pure coke-based blast furnaces to reduce iron ore pellets into hot briquetted iron (HBI) or direct reduced iron (DRI), otherwise known as sponge iron.
It's anticipated voestalpine will invest $700 million into the project with 150 permanent jobs. If all goes well with the air permit application process and other requirements, the plant could open as early as 2016.
Half of the product created at the proposed plant will be shipped to steel mills in Austria while "the remaining half will serve as a strategic reserve and will initially be sold to partners interested in longer-term contracts," according to a release from voestalpine.
"We will also be investing in the exceptionally strict US environmental and safety standards and applying state-of-the-art processes for reducing emissions of pollutants, noise, and dust. This also includes dealing responsibly with the water supply, a scarce resource in Texas," said Wolfgang Eder, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG, and head of voestalpine's Steel Division.
The firm already has 25 locations in the United States with 2,000 employees.
Gulf Compress, a cotton storage and distribution business, became the first tenant at the La Quinta Channel years ago. The Tianjin Pipe Corporation (TPCO) is currently constructing a steel mill project along Highway 361, just north of the La Quinta site.
Port officials hope to eventually have a container terminal in operation at the site.
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