Last updated on February 8th, 2023 at 01:58 pm
Construction work for The DeLong Co. Inc.’s nearly $40 million agricultural maritime export facility at Port Milwaukee is nearing the finish line.
The new facility, located on the west side of Jones Island, will be one of the first on the Great Lakes — St. Lawrence Seaway (GLSLS) system to handle various agricultural commodities via truck, rail, and international vessel, including distillers’ dried grain with solubles (DDGs).
DDGs are an animal feed supplement derived as a byproduct of ethanol high in nutrients. This facility will open Wisconsin’s maritime and agricultural economies to new international markets for this and other products. Future service at the facility may also include the export of Wisconsin-grown soybeans, corn and grain.
This development is the largest one-time investment in Port Milwaukee since the 1950s, when the St. Lawrence Seaway was being built.
City of Milwaukee and Port Milwaukee officials, as well as representatives from The DeLong Co., gathered at the facility Friday afternoon to commemorate the approaching completion of the project.
Bo DeLong, vice president of grain for Clinton, Wisconsin-based The DeLong Co. Inc., said the maritime export facility will begin to open in mid-April and be fully operational by May.
“We’ve got probably 80% of the construction done. We have the receiving building that we have to finish and we’ve got our electrical work to do, but other than that we’re pretty much there,” said DeLong.
When the DeLong Co. project was first announced in 2020, city officials touted the importance of the new facility in serving as a connector of Wisconsin’s businesses and farmers to world. Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson echoed these sentiments Friday.
“This is presenting an opportunity for us to connect farmers around the rest of the state with the city of Milwaukee and its port as a hub. This (facility) will connect Wisconsin agricultural products to markets all over the world,” said Johnson.
Jackie Carter, interim director at Port Milwaukee, said the DeLong Co. project shows the positive impact a partnership between private and government entities can have on the overall business community.
“This is a great example of how government agencies and private industry can get together and do something for the region,” said Carter.
Financing for the project included $15.89 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation, $9.5 million from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, $5.7 million from Port Milwaukee and $8.8 million from The DeLong Co.