Opening ceremonies were held Wednesday morning to celebrate operations at the Voestalpine plant on the La Quinta Channel North of Portland.
GREGORY (KIII-NEWS) - Opening ceremonies were held Wednesday morning to celebrate operations at the Voestalpine plant on the La Quinta Channel North of Portland.
The plant's 445 foot main tower is the highest structure in South Texas.
The 50 million dollar state of the art docking and handling facilities along the La Quinta ship channel are already complete and operating.
Port of Corpus Christi Director John LaRue says Voestalpine is not only using the energy that the port is known for but local labor as well.
Head of the parent company in Austria was on hand along with the Texas Secretary of State to give a tour of the facility, expected to have over a billion dollar impact on the Coastal Bend in the next few years.
Wolfgang Eder, the board chairman for the Austrian company Voestalpine, described what the iron ore processing facility does.
"It's also the first plant with the most advanced technology in all of North America that's high tech hot forming for special steels, for high strength advanced high strength steels, " Eder told 3 News.
Eder says the day the first briquette made at the plant was very important to him.
"Start of production was September 28, 2016. It was a very emotional moment when I got the information. I think it was five minutes to ten in the evening. That was the first product. You can imagine after two and a half years of construction work," Eder said.
Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos thanked the company for choosing South Texas.
"Thanks for the tremendous investment that you're making in our community. I think what you find here is not only a very diverse population but you also find a very willing and able work force, " Cascos said.