Frontier Group reopens river mooring cells in Weirton | News, Sports, Jobs
WEIRTON – The barges have returned to dormant mooring cells along the Ohio River in Weirton as part of the revitalization efforts of the Frontier Group of Companies.
The mooring cells are part of a former iron and steel property, previously owned by ArcelorMittal. The property was purchased by the Frontier group in 2016.
For the first time in more than 20 years, barges have started transporting sand, gravel, steel products and other materials to and from the mooring cells at Weirton Frontier Crossings, according to David Franjoine, managing director. of the company.
“As we complete the remediation, deconstruction and repurposing of one of the Ohio River Valley’s greatest economic engines, our team has designed and prepared industry-ready sites for an industrial park of 500 acres and an inland river port that can accommodate 3.5 million square feet of new industrial and commercial activities for a planned private investment of $ 2 billion ”, said Franjoine.
The City of Weirton and the Frontier Group worked with the West Virginia Division of Highways and the State Department of Economic Development to build new roads and bridges on site at Weirton Frontier Crossings.
The infrastructure improvements will help create about 3,000 jobs, according to a study by the US Economic Development Administration, which was managed by the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle and partially funded by the City of Weirton.
The Frontier Group of Companies has signed an agreement with Industry Terminal & Salvage for the operation of their river port.
According to Brad Busatto, president of Industry Terminal & Salvage (IT&S) and material handler at Weirton Frontier Crossings, the biggest source of traffic entering Weirton will be the markets along the Ohio River.
“When fully exploited, our port will have the capacity to float more than 75 barges and to load and unload two barges at the same time”, according to Bussato. “The first barge tow will transport a variety of products that meet consumers, industrial needs and infrastructure. “
Pat Ford, director of business development for the Frontier Group of Companies, said the American Chemistry Council predicts that there will be up to $ 36 billion in downstream petrochemical and manufacturing investments in the region.
“This investment will create more than 100,000 jobs”, said Ford. “But those jobs will need the production sites that Weirton’s Frontier Crossings is set to provide.”
The port gives Weirton Frontier Crossings direct access to export markets and offers a third option for transporting materials, beyond existing rail lines and roads in place, and to feed the regional, national and global, according to company officials.
Local and state development officials are also in talks with other businesses and industries in the region and around the world interested in Weirton.