The Alabama State Port Authority has approved a concession agreement with Mobile Container Terminal LLC to develop a new container terminal at Choctaw Point. Mobile Container Terminal LLC, a joint venture between APM Terminals North America (80%), a subsidiary of Maersk Inc., and Terminal Link, a division of CMA CGM (20%), will provide terminal customers with access to global networks covering all possible trade routes to and from the Port of Mobile. APM Terminals will operate and manage the terminal.

Governor Bob Riley of Alabama noted the agreement as a giant step forward in economic and business development for the State of Alabama. “This agreement ensures that the public facilities at the port will be among the very best in the world. Hundreds of new jobs and countless new business opportunities will be created, all of which will help continue Alabama’s economic growth and progress,” Riley said.

Construction of the container terminal began in April 2005 and operations are expected to begin in the second half of 2007 with a start up capacity of more than 350,000 teus. The Mobile Container Terminal project will be developed in phases, and at full build out, will have an annual capacity of 800,000 teus. Once operations begin in late 2007, the container terminal is expected to create more than 300 permanent jobs.

“This project is a significant component of our North American strategy,” said Tony Scioscia, President of APM Terminals North America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Mobile has good navigational access for today’s container ships, strong labor, well-established intermodal rail and highway connections and room for expansion. By adding more port capacity in North America, we expand the number of supply chain options for customers and plan for the future demands of world trade,” he added.

The Authority’s Director and CEO, James K. Lyons, said “the project holds the winning formula for the continued growth and success of Alabama, her citizens and regional business and industry. The Authority’s transportation resources, combined with APM Terminal’s and Terminal Link’s world class position in the container market, will only strengthen the port and the region’s position in the global marketplace.”

The overall project, which will include a separate intermodal rail transfer facility and modern distribution complex, will represent a total investment of approximately $300 million. The Authority and Mobile Container Terminal will jointly invest in the infrastructure for the container terminal with Mobile Container Terminal providing all buildings and equipment.

The Alabama State Port Authority chose Mobile Container Terminal LLC as a partner because both companies participating in the joint venture represent strong, experienced global terminal operators with significant liner service networks.

“We are pleased to bring our experience and our volumes as part of this long term project. It will open new opportunities for our services” said Farid T. Salem, CMA CGM Group Chief Executive Vice President. “CMA CGM is already a strong player on the trade from Asia to Gulf with regular weekly calls at Houston, Miami and Savannah. Mobile project will offer us additional possibilities of services for our customers.”