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The Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA) and AutoMobile International Terminal last week announced they signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and operate a rail-served automotive processing facility at the Port of Mobile.The $60 million project calls for converting 57 acres of a former bulk material handling facility into a state-of-the-art automotive processing and logistics terminal. The facility will be built near interstates 10 and 65, and have access to five Class Is: BNSF Railway Co., CN, CSX, Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern Railway.Construction is expected to start by 2018’s end and be completed by 2019’s end. A joint venture between Terminal Zarate S.A. and SAAM Puertos S.A., AutoMobile International Terminal will build and operate the facility.“This agreement represents a key step in diversifying the port authority’s business while providing a strategic asset to regional automotive shippers,” said ASPA Director and Chief Executive Officer James Lyons in a press release.Proceeds from a $12.7 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant obtained by the authority and a $28.8 million grant from the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council will help fund the project.