Friday, July 20, 2012

MDU, Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Bullet Train

I'm staying in a residential area in San Pedro, south Los Angeles, about a mile from a huge fuel depot and less than a mile from the largest port complex in the United States. I bike down to the harbor on a regular basis; now that it is the new permanent home for the USS Iowa, I another reason to visit the harbor. I mention the fuel depot only to remind folks that oil activity can co-exist safely and quietly for decades with urban areas. But the point of the post has to do with the two ports. From the two bridges that go over these ports, for all intents and purposes, this complex is one huge port.

From the Los Angeles Times today:
At the edge of San Pedro Bay, home of North America's largest cargo complex, they're building new piers, wharves and rail yards at a furious pace to further dwarf the competition.

So much construction is underway that the new facilities by themselves would move more freight than the entire port of Savannah, Ga., which ranks No. 4 among the continent's ports.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, first and second in the cargo-movement hierarchy, respectively, are hauling in so much dirt, they would have enough land to build a twin of Universal Studios Hollywood with enough left over to fill 100 football stadiums with 20 inches of muck. Long Beach alone expects to use 6,000 truckloads of concrete.

The most expensive and extensive upgrades in the history of both ports will cost nearly $6 billion. The improvements are getting underway as international trade rebuilds ever so slowly from the devastating global recession, but experts say the building binge is necessary to keep the roughly 40% share of Asian imports that the two ports handle.
That alone would be worth posting, but this is frosting on the cake. MDU -- yes, the Bismarck-headquartered MDU -- is supplying much of the aggregate (concrete) for the port project. From the 2011 annual report:
A number of projects also have developed in California including expansion work at the Port of Long Beach and a contract to supply the Port of Los Angeles with 1.2 million tons of aggregate. Knife River is the largest cement provider in Hawaii, which positions it for potential work on the a $5 billion multi-phase light rail project currently under way in that state. 
Hmmm... that bullet train in central California running from San Diego to San Francisco might be beneficial to MDU ... 

No comments:

Post a Comment