Independent port opens in North Charleston

      NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -{}North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, along with other state and county leaders, on Wednesday officially welcomed the Odfjell Group to North Charleston.

      The Norwegian company handles bulk liquid as an independent port.

      "The kinds of things the ports authority typically doesn't handle. So, this is a private terminal that's specializing in a different type of cargo," said Allison Skipper, director of communications for the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

      Skipper says the company initially committed to a $37-million investment, but as the project grew, the company's commitment more than doubled to $84 million. {}

      "It says so much to us about the confidence they have in this area of the country," said Mayor Summey. "This is going to benefit the operations of the port authority, it's going to create jobs, it is going to create new revenue for us as a city."

      Odfjell is a 100-year old company with 3,400 employees worldwide.

      In Charleston, the company hired 20 new workers and plans to hire more once business begins to grow. Odfjell officials did not want to release a specific number of potential job openings.{}