A $700 million steel manufacturing plant is set to go in at the La Quinta Terminal. An Austrian company said it looked at 14 different sites in eight countries before selecting our area.
That announcement came Wednesday morning, and promises to provide 150 high paying jobs once the facility is built.
It is part of the good news coming from Project Hot Iron, the code name local economic development officials used as they tried to keep the deal as secret as possible so that someone else would not get wind of it and try and steal the deal from us.
Area officials showed up at the Portland Community Center for the announcement that Voestalpine Steel, out of Linz, Austria, is going to build its newest plant here. Construction should start later this year, and the plant will be open by 2016.
The company said it will hire about 150 people for the highly paid jobs available. They also said that this is its largest and most significant foreign investment in its 75-year history.
The company produces premium steel for premium customers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
"The government said you can't burn the pet coke anymore, so they could have bought natural gas from Russia, or look out in other parts of the world, and fortunate for us, they found South Texas," Port Chairman Mike Carroll said.
"Water is a very sensitive issue here in the region, so we're actively looking into desalination to provide our own water supply without having to tap into the public system, just to make sure we have a sustainable water supply," said Matthias Pastl of Voestalpine.
On the company's Web site, they do mention that their German branch in Munich was raided back on Feb. 28. The Federal Cartel Office is looking into the company after it was accused of violating anti-trust laws there.
The accusation centers on the steel deliveries to the German automotive industry.
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