Governor Bob Riley is celebrating a huge success for Alabama with officials from ThyssenKrupp Steel, as the company's new $5 billion plant in Calvert officially opens.
The steelmaking and processing plant is one of the biggest foreign investments ever made in the history of the United States. Governor Riley said the giant steel facility helps not only Alabama's economy, but the entire region's.
"The American South is an engine of growth
for our entire country, and the new ThyssenKrupp plant in Alabama helps
secure that economic leadership position for this region," said Governor
Riley. "This enormous investment in our state provides new
opportunities for even more growth, gives employees and their families
good jobs, and makes Alabama and the entire region more competitive."
Governor Riley recently finished a one-year term as chairman of the Southern Governors Association during which he focused on branding the "American South" as the nation's top region for economic investment.
The opening of the new plant follows a three-year construction period and an intense competition between several states for the $5 billion project. It was on May 11, 2007, that Governor Riley and ThyssenKrupp officials announced Alabama had won the project, and a groundbreaking ceremony in Calvert took place on November 2 of that year.
During the construction phase up to 30,000 people were working on the site at the same time. For the foundations, around 8.5 million cubic meters of earth was moved, roughly 75,000 pilings were sunk and more than 750,000 cubic meters of concrete cast. The total covered area is approximately 630,000 square meters. The amount of steel used in the construction of the plant would be enough to build 10 Eiffel Towers.
For the production of carbon flat steel, the plant will be supplied with three million metric tons of slabs per year from Brazil. These will be shipped to the Port of Mobile, which was expanded for this purpose, and from there along the Tombigbee River to the plant's river terminal.
The Calvert plant will employ 2,700 permanent employees. Many times that number of jobs will be created indirectly because of ThyssenKrupp.
The central element of the plant is a wide
hot strip mill with a capacity of over five million metric tons per
year. The first coil was produced in July and the cold rolling mill
began operations in September.