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JULY 2005

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Port Site Has What It Takes

The Bayou State mixes old and new industries.



elationships between manufacturers and their suppliers have taken on added importance in recent years in an ever-changing global economy. It's not unusual for manufacturers to influence site decisions of their suppliers. The opposite has happened in Shreveport with a supplier introducing a manufacturer to the region.
      Steelscape, a metal processing company headquartered in Kalama, Wash., plans a US$200-million, 200,000-sq.-ft. (18,580-sq.-m.) plant on a 75-acre (30.4-hectare) site at the Port of Shreveport-Bossier. The facility, to be built in four stages, will be the largest individual project ever undertaken at the port and will employ 240. Steelscape is a subsidiary of Monterrey, Mexico-based IMSA Acero, part of the Grupo IMSA family of companies, the largest producer of galvanized and pre-painted steel in Latin America. Steelscape also operates plants in Washington, California and Alabama.
      McElroy Metal, a long-time Shreveport manufacturer, is a supplier to Steelscape and introduced the company to the region. Santiago Clariond, president and CEO of ISMA Acero, tells Site Selection his company subsequently chose Shreveport because of the logistics capabilities in the area.
Citgo's $293-million expansion at its Lake Charles complex makes it the fourth largest oil refinery in the U.S.

      "Tem McElroy (owner of McElroy Metal) began talking to us when he was on the West Coast for a visit," says Randy Strikwerda, project manager for the Shreveport facility. "We shared with him our site selection criteria and he said, 'You should come to Shreveport. We've got what you need.' We did and they did."
      Strikwerda says Steelscape looked at more than 20 sites in the south-central U.S. and the port site was the only one that met all of the company's criteria.
      "Shreveport represents the center point of the market we will be serving and it has great truck, rail, river/ocean barge logistics for transportation of raw materials and finished goods delivery," Strikwerda says. "We also needed a piece of ground large enough to support multi-phase implementation of the project. The area's education system also seems to be almost perfectly designed to produce the type of technical people we need to be successful in our business."
      For the fast-track project, Steelscape projects the first two phases to be operational by the end of 2006 with the project being completed sometime in 2008 or 2009.
      An economic report prepared for environmental permitting of the plant by Louisiana State University's Center for Business
The New Orleans BioInnovation Center will be one of three biotechnology incubators in the state. This facility will open in early 2007.
& Economic Research estimates the construction phase of the plant alone will create more than 2,000 jobs and have an impact of $250 million on the local economy.
      The Steelscape project is the latest Shreveport announcement coming on the heels of a big 2004, which saw the region reap $584.5 million in investment. A firm that lighted in Shreveport in 2004 is in rapid expansion mode while an established manufacturer that expanded last year plans a new distribution center.
      U.S. Support Company, which brought 1,300 jobs to Shreveport in early 2004, is adding another 700 jobs.
U.S. Support Center announced in June that it would be adding 700 more jobs to the 1,300 originally announced for its call center in Shreveport.
The company will receive an enticement of $700,000 from Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's Rapid Response Fund for the latest expansion.
      "Due to our huge success, we have spent millions more than we had originally anticipated," said Dennis Quinn, U.S. Support Company executive vice president. Shreveport is the only location outside of Florida for the company that operates call centers to provide technical support to customers with their cable Internet, computer, DSL and telephone.
      Libbey Glass, which brought 100 jobs from Ohio last year, plans a 650,000-sq.-ft. (60,300-sq.-m.) distribution center that will supplant older, leased warehouse space in Shreveport.

©2005 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. SiteNet data is from many sources and not warranted to be accurate or current.