Port of Cleveland links private investment to Charter Steel expansion, job growth in Cuyahoga Heights

The Board of Directors of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) met March 9 to review and approve a development finance agreement that will link $38 million in private party investment funds to Charter Steel’s expansion of its Cuyahoga Heights facilities through the port’s development finance program.

Charter Steel, North America’s leading producer of carbon and alloy steel wire rod, is building a new rolling mill to serve the growing cut-to-length steel bar market. The new facility will be built adjacent to Charter Steel’s existing coil mill and steelmaking operations in Cuyahoga Heights and adds an additional 25 jobs, bringing Charter’s local employment total to approximately 355 employees. Total project cost of the expansion is $146.6 million, representing the largest investment in the company’s history.

“The Charter Steel expansion is a great example of how the Port of Cleveland’s development finance work connects private dollars to catalytic economic development projects,” said Will Friedman, port President and CEO. “By expanding its facilities to the tune of $146 million, Charter Steel is doubling down on Northeast Ohio, creating new jobs and building on one of our local economy’s traditional strengths—manufacturing.”

The board also approved a one-year agreement authorizing Federal Marine Terminals, Inc. (FMT) to continue as terminal operator for Warehouses A, 24, 26 and the Maintenance Shed. The new deal also expands FMT’s role to Dock 22 and Warehouse 22, including providing stevedoring services to the Cleveland-Europe Express, the only scheduled container vessel service between the Great Lakes, Europe and points beyond. 

“FMT has proven itself a strong service provider on the Port of Cleveland’s docks,” said Dave Gutheil, Port Vice President, Maritime & Logistics. “This new agreement will help streamline and improve efficiencies at our facilities.” Gutheil also said the deal represents a meaningful increase of 5.5 percent in lease revenue from the 2016 agreement.

Maritime Editorial