Port of Brownsville and Big River Steel LLC Sign Option Agreement

Deal advances $1.6 Billion Port steel mill; build-out brings 500 new jobs to Brownsville

Photo: Courtesy Port of Brownsville, Texas

Photo: Courtesy Port of Brownsville, Texas

BROWNSVILLE, TX – The Brownsville Navigation District Board of Commissioners – the governing body for the Port of Brownsville – has signed an option agreement covering up to 800 acres of property with Big River Steel LLC enabling the steel-maker to continue its due diligence pursuant to the company’s interest in developing a LEED-certified steel manufacturing plant, storage and distribution facility. The plant would cost more than $1.6 billion to construct.

“This is good news for Brownsville and the result of hard work by many individuals and organizations over a long period of time. Our rail partner OmniTRAX played an important role in introducing this opportunity to the port,” stated John Wood, Chairman of the BND. “We are excited about this step forward and remain confident the venture will be beneficial for all parties, for Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley.

“The addition of 500 new full-time local jobs, and the impact of those jobs in terms of retail spending, services, and new housing impacts represent a transformational moment for Brownsville and the Valley,” Chairman Wood continued. Wood expects up to 1,500 construction workers would be needed to build the specialized steel plant.

Additional details will be provided as they become available.

The Port of Brownsville is the only deepwater seaport directly on the U.S.-Mexico border, and the largest land-owning public port authority in the nation with 40,000 acres of land. It transships more steel into Mexico than any other U.S. port.

In 2017, the Port of Brownsville moved 10.6 million tons of cargo. The port’s Foreign Trade Zone No. 62 is currently ranked second in the nation for the value of exports, reporting more than $2.8 billion in exported goods in 2016. FTZ No. 62 has consistently ranked in the top three nationally since 2012, and this marks the second time in two years that it achieved the nation’s number two ranking.

With more than $43 billion worth of projects currently in the works, the Port of Brownsville is transforming the Rio Grande Valley by creating positive investment opportunities and jobs. Activity at the port is responsible for adding more than $2 billion to the regional economy, $3 billion to the Texas economy, and for the creation of more than 44,000 jobs.

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