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Alabama State Port Authority and AutoMobile International Terminal announce new ro/ro facility

[ April 19, 2018   //   ]

On April 18 the Alabama State Port Authority and AutoMobile International Terminal, a joint venture of Terminal Zárate S.A. and SAAM Puertos S.A., signed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a Memorandum of Understanding to develop and operate a vehicle processing roll-on/roll-off  facility at the Port of Mobile.

James K. Lyons, director and chief executive officer of the Alabama State Port Authority noted the agreement is a giant step forward in supporting automotive logistics in the Americas and abroad. “This agreement represents a key step in diversifying the Port Authority’s business while providing a strategic asset to regional automotive shippers,” Lyons said.

The automotive RO/RO terminal construction expects to start by year-end 2018 with an anticipated completion date of year-end 2019.

The Alabama State Port Authority initiated a Request for Proposal process in late 2016 to identify a potential partner in the construction of the facility to meet the region’s growing demand for finished automobile import/export facilities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.  The Authority selected the partnership between Terminal Zárate S.A. and SAAM Puertos S.A. and began concession agreement discussions for the construction and operation of the new facility.

“This project is a significant component of our growth strategy and given our strong experience as a RO/RO terminal we are convinced we will develop AutoMobile International Terminal into a world class RO/RO processing and handling facility”, said Robert Murchison, President ofTerminal Zárate S.A.  “We look forward to work together with Terminal Zárate and the Alabama State Port Authority and bring all our knowledge and experience to the service of the terminal, and consolidate our position in America,” said Yurik Díaz, Manager of SAAM Puertos S.A.

The new terminal would convert approximately 57 acres of a derelict bulk material handling facility into a state-of-the-art automotive processing and logistics terminal.  The 40 ft. ship draft facility is served by five Class I railroads serving all of North America and immediate, unencumbered access to two interstate systems (I-65 and I-10).

The overall project represents a total investment of approximately $60 million.  Proceeds from the Alabama State Port Authority’s recently awarded $12.7 million  Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant and the $28.8 grant from the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council as authorized under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourism Opportunities and Revived Economy of the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 would contribute toward the cost of the project.  The concessionaire agreement facilitates the private sector partner contribution toward the facility.


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