Monday, January 23, 2006

A Dane, a Frenchman, and a Sailor walk into a Mobile, AL Bar…

This almost does sound like the beginning of a joke, but it is a strategic move by all three parties involved.

The Alabama State Port Authority said it signed a concession agreement with Mobile Container Terminal LLC to develop a new container terminal at its Choctaw Point site.

The signing in January made official the deal announced last November.

Mobile Container Terminal is a joint venture 80-percent held by APM Terminals North America, a subsidiary of Maersk Inc., and 20-percent by Terminal Link, a division of French carrier CMA CGM.

The agency said operations are expected to begin in the second half of 2007 with a start up capacity of more than 350,000 TEUs, with a full built-out capacity of 800,000 TEUs.

In December, the authority awarded a $4.2 million design and construction management contract to HDR Inc. for a rail Intermodal Container Transfer Facility at Choctaw Point as well.

The State of Alabama is a huge winner in this project, but you have to hand it to APM and CMA-CGM for their mutual risk-taking in the project. Let’s see how it develops as we lead up to, and after the terminal’s completion.