The Coastal Gateway five-county region is an ideal location for the metals/steel industry due to its proximity to raw materials, suppliers, and customers. The Port of Mobile, located less than an hour from many places in the CGEDA region, regularly exports more steel than it imports. In July of 2011, more than 16,000 metric tons of flat-rolled carbon steel were exported through the Port of Mobile, making it the nation’s leading exporting port for that particular type of steel.
With more than 2,000 jobs in the metals/steel industries in the CGEDA area, it’s no wonder several companies have chosen to make the Coastal Gateway five-county region home for their new or expanding business operations.
- Energex Tube (formerly Lakeside Steel), currently provides finishing services for steel pipe and has idle manufacturing capabilities for pipe used in the oil and gas industry, and in both 2010 and 2011 selected Thomasville (in Clarke County) as the home for future facilities. Together, it was an investment of more than $57 million, producing 280 jobs for the area.
- Metals USA, a rolled steel slitting and steel warehousing company, also selected Clarke County for their $10 million facility in 2011, producing 30 new jobs in the area.
- SET Enterprises, another steel slitting company, chose Clarke County in 2011 for their new $12 million facility, creating 40 jobs in the five-county region.
- The Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, Inc., opened a 300-job, $100 million facility, producing copper tubing. The plant is located in Sunny South, in the Thomasville-West Wilcox Industrial Park, close to the county line separating Clarke and Wilcox counties.