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American Shipper

Stockton port signs $220 million deal for 90-acre wallboard facility

Stockton port signs $220 million deal for 90-acre wallboard facility

The Port of Stockton and Chicago-based USG Corp. said Monday they have signed a $220 million deal that will bring the world's largest wallboard manufacturing line to the inland Central California port.

   The 90-acre facility, set to employ about 150 people, will have the capacity to produce nearly one billion square feet of wallboard annually. Construction of the new plant is set to begin after a permitting and environmental review process, with USG and the port expecting completion of the project in the first half of 2010.

   The deal concludes a lengthy search by the Chicago gypsum firm for a new West Coast facility location. In selecting the Port of Stockton, the firm cited the port's location, logistical infrastructure, and management.

   California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who praised USG for choosing California, also pointed to the 'green' design of the plant as a model for California businesses.

   'USG's decision to build a new plant in our state shows that manufacturing companies can thrive in California, and at the same time, demonstrate environmental stewardship,' he said.

   The plant will use 100 percent recycled paper for the surfaces of the finished wallboard products and recycle 100 percent of its production waste. The design also incorporates a closed-loop liquid effluent system, eliminating discharge into the local waterways.

   The Port of Stockton, which also sits astride major highway and rail routes, is a leading breakbulk and bulk product hub for Northern and Central California. Located 75 nautical miles due east of the Golden Gate Bridge, the port is connected to San Francisco Bay by the Stockton Deepwater Ship Channel.

   In 2003, the port fully acquired nearly 1,500 acres of U.S. Navy property that is under development for trade and maritime uses. The acquisition made Stockton the largest inland port west of the Mississippi and the third-largest port in California.