Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner.


In this issue:

Alabama State Port Authority and APM Terminals growth drive continued investment
By:  AJOT | 
Dec 20 2017 

Mobile, Alabama - The Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA) and APM Terminals boards of directors in separate actions have approved a $49.5 million expansion of the container facility at the Port of Mobile. The Port Authority and APM Terminals jointly will deliver a Phase 3 expansion that includes a dock extension and an additional 20 acres of improved yard to maintain excess capacity to accommodate new business opportunities. When completed, the project will accommodate an annual throughput capacity of 650,000 TEU.

"The Phase 3 expansion enables us to stay well ahead of the growth pattern we've seen in the Port of Mobile, as well as add dock space to support the growing vessel sizes that are coming to the terminal. It will help us maintain the efficiency levels our customers have come to expect, while also creating the extra capacity needed to support potential future economic growth in our market," said Brian Harold, managing director for APM Terminals Mobile.

The Phase 3 is part of a 5 Phase, long-term plan that can grow the terminal's annual throughput capacity to 1.5 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit). Under the Phase 3 development, a 400-foot dock extension, super Post-Panamax crane rails and upgrades to the fender system will accommodate 14,000 TEU ships. The 20-acre yard expansion ensures excess capacity at the terminal to accommodate new shipper and carrier business opportunities. The dock extension will take approximately 24 months to complete, while the yard will take 18 months to complete.


AL Spaceport Authority sees state as future hub of space travel
By Lindsey Connell, Reporter
December 19, 2017

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Alabama's new Spaceport Authority is up and running.

The group was formed by recent legislation. The Authority's first meeting was held Tuesday in Huntsville at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

Senator Gerald Dial was nominated as the committee's chair during its initial organizational gathering. Dial believes Alabama would be the perfect spot for a spaceport. For years, he's been one of the lawmakers pushing the idea for an official group to help look at the state's viability.



Innovation Depot Velocity Accelerator program chooses 8 teams
Innovation Depot's Velocity Accelerator program has picked eight teams for its 2018 cohort.

Organizers said four teams were picked from the Birmingham area, along with San Jose, Chicago, Atlanta and Nashville, from about 100 applicants.

Devon Laney, President & CEO, Innovation Depot, Inc., said the first Velocity cohort was a "tremendous success.



Birmingham named one of America's 'most exciting' food cities for 2017
For the third year in a row, Birmingham has been named one of America's top food cities by the national restaurant guide

The Magic City is No. 24 on Zagat's latest list of the 30 Most Exciting Food Cities in America 2017.

Last year, Birmingham was No. 14 on Zagat's list of the  26 Hottest Food Cities of 2016.



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