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'Like a nuclear bomb': Deadly fertilizer plant blast devastates Texas town
A massive blast at a fertilizer plant Wednesday night killed an estimated five to 15 people, wounded more than 160, and damaged 50 to 60 homes in a 5-block area, officials in West, Texas said Thursday. CNN
Submitted 1 years 346 days ago

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That's The Randle Report for Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Join us again tomorrow morning for all of the American South's business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window above to find your favorite stories from yesterday, last week, last month or last year. Also, click on the Sports tab above for all of the South's sports news in real time. Click on the headline to access Southern Business & Development magazine.
Submitted 1 years 347 days ago

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Arkansas Legislature Approves $125M Big River Steel Funding
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas is set to provide a new steel company with $125 million in financing and tax breaks to build a mill in the northeast part of the state now that the Legislature has given final approval to the plan. By an 81-9 vote, House lawmakers on Tuesday passed a Senate-approved budget bill to fund Gov. Mike Beebe's proposal to provide Big River Steel with a loan and pay some construction costs of a $1.1 billion steel mill the company wants to build in Osceola. In exchange, the company promises to create at least 525 permanent jobs with an average annual wage of at least $75,000 - twice the state's average. Big River Steel has said it wants to close the deal in the third quarter of this year. Arkansas Business
Submitted 1 years 347 days ago

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S.C. likely to be among contenders for Infiniti plant
Nissan Motor Co. said it is considering a new manufacturing location in North America, and economists said South Carolina should be in the running for the new plant that reportedly will produce at least 100,000 of its premium Infiniti vehicles a year. Infiniti officials Monday declined to disclose any details for the new plant, including sites under consideration. South Carolina Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt couldn’t be reached for comment. Economists told GreenvilleOnline.com that South Carolina, with its network of auto suppliers for production and a deepened Port of Charleston for exports, would make economic sense for Infiniti, a division of Nissan Motor Co., the global automotive company. BMW’s plant near Greer and Michelin North America’s headquarters in Greenville County, combined with a growing number of tire companies, cement an automotive cluster that has taken root across South Carolina and would be advantageous to Infiniti, the economists said. Greenville News
Submitted 1 years 347 days ago

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Infiniti Exploring Canadian Assembly Plant
It’s no secret that Infiniti is looking to diversify its manufacturing footprint. As part of a broader Nissan strategy to localize production and escape the yoke of yen fluctuations, Infiniti will soon be setting up shop in China and at Nissan’s Sunderland facility in the UK. Next on the list is another North American site. Right now, the Infiniti JXis the lone Infniti product built outside Japan, but that will have to change under Nissan’s new strategy. Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen told the Wall Street Journalthat in addition to the United States and Mexico, Canada is also an option for the new plant. Calling Canada a “compelling alternative”, de Nysschen said “Canada also has the potential now with free-trade agreements and discussions to be a very viable source of production exports to Europe,” Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis is expected to meet with de Nysschen in Hong Kong this week. A new factory is expected to cost around $2 billion, or about half of what expansion would cost at an existing facility, and would add 2,000 direct jobs. Thetruthaboutcars.com
Submitted 1 years 347 days ago

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Nissan Considers Adding Infiniti Plant in North America
SHANGHAI—Nissan Motor Co. is considering a new plant in North America to produce at least 100,000 of its premium Infiniti vehicles a year, likely starting in 2017 as the auto maker fans out production globally from Japan. "One of the challenges we face is that we really do not have a diversified geographical footprint for manufacturing," Infiniti Motor Co. President Johan de Nysschen said Sunday. Apart from producing one model in the U.S. for global consumption, the Infiniti brand's current production was "totally concentrated" in Japan, he said. But that is changing. In May 2012 the company announced plans to produce two Infiniti models for the Chinese domestic market in Xiangyang, Hubei province, with Nissan's local partner, Dongfeng Motor Co. Mr. de Nysschen said more details will be announced around the Shanghai auto show, which officially starts April 21. In addition, premium compact models for the global market will be produced at Nissan's Sunderland plant in the U.K. starting in 2015. Wall Street Journal
Submitted 1 years 347 days ago

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Tennessee a top choice for foreign investment
Volkswagen is one of the most recent foreign companies to locate in East Tennessee, and impacts from its auto manufacturing facility near Chattanooga are still being felt as suppliers also locate here to support the plant. German company HP Pelzer Automotive, one of those suppliers, announced plans this week to open a $28 million facilityin Athens, Tenn. Including these and other investments, German firms have invested more than $3 billion dollars in Tennessee. More than 12,000 people are employed by the 100-plus German firms in the state, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Germany is still a distant second to No. 1 foreign investor in Tennessee -- Japan, according to the Book of Lists' ranking of foreign investment in Tennessee. Knoxville News-Sentinal
Submitted 1 years 347 days ago

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Chattanooga VW plant honored among top engineering projects
The Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga is one of eight finalists for this year’s Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies. The $1 billion plant, which began making Passat cars two years ago, was nominated for setting “a new standard for sustainable engineering achievement.” The VW facility in Chattanooga is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certified auto plant in the world. Other nominees for the annual engineering honor include: Marlins Park; Miami, Fla., by Walter P Moore, for its retractable roof that can withstand hurricane force winds. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 1 years 347 days ago

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Freeport LNG's Texas project may get U.S. export approval in months
Freeport LNG Development LP may get expanded approval from the U.S. Energy Department to export liquefied natural gas in the next quarter or two, the head of Baker Botts LLP’s LNG practice said. The multibillion-dollar Texas project is next on the department’s list of companies seeking permission to export gas to nations that aren’t party to U.S. free-trade agreements. Steven Miles, who has worked on more than 100 LNG transactions and doesn’t represent closely held Freeport LNG, said he expects the government to follow the list. “The Department of Energy is being as diligent as they can on this,” Miles, a partner in the firm’s Washington office, said in an interview in Houston today. “There’s an awful lot of work to be done in terms of processing these applications.” Houston Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 347 days ago

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How ‘Made in the USA’ is Making a Comeback
The U.S. economy continues to struggle, and the weak March jobs report — just 88,000 positions were added — briefly spooked the market. But step back and you’ll see a bright spot, perhaps the best economic news the U.S. has witnessed since the rise of Silicon Valley: Made in the USA is making a comeback. Climbing out of the recession, the U.S. has seen its manufacturing growth outpace that of other advanced nations, with some 500,000 jobs created in the past three years. It marks the first time in more than a decade that the number of factory jobs has gone up instead of down. TIME.com
Submitted 1 years 347 days ago

 

 

 

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Just look around at what's happening in the aerospace industry in the American South. Aerospace is really making a move to become one of the region's top two industry sectors. It’s not there yet, but if large project counts are any indication, aerospace may soon challenge the petrochemicals sector as the second largest industry in the region. Never before has the aerospace industry been so important to the South's economy. Oh, what's the No. 1 industry sector in the South? Automotive is, of course. That industry hasn't been challenged much for 25 years in this region, or since we’ve been counting.

 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean
If you have ever seen one of my presentations, then you know about the word "reshoring" and how that phenomenon has lifted the spirits of even the most skeptical Southerners regarding the future of the region's economy. After all, in the last four decades, manufacturing has suffered a bloodletting never before seen in U.S. history. The biggest factor behind the slow and long meltdown that began in the 1990s was the herd mentality to offshore manufacturing capacity to cheaper locales, primarily by U.S.-owned companies.
 


 

 

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