Scheller said about 50 of the Walter Energy jobs will be at the port and the remainder will be in Tuscaloosa, Walker and Fayette counties. Jobs will be created over six years. The annual payroll will be about $45 million, with the average annual pay and benefits at $120,000 per employee.

“These are jobs that are going to be around for 30 or 40 years,” Scheller said. State tax incentives played a big part in the firm’s decision to expand its operation at this time. “The decision to expand was influenced by the legislature’s recent decision to extend Alabama’s tax incentives for new industries to include coal mining operations,” he said.

“The announcement by Walter Energy represents a significant and long-term investment in the State of Alabama and our local communities,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “This is a perfect example of how development incentives lead to new jobs and new opportunities for people across the state. I appreciate Walter Energy’s continued commitment to Alabama with this project.”

Once operational in 2018, the Blue Creek Energy mine will be located near Brandon School Road and Highway 69 North in Tuscaloosa County. Construction in Fayette and Walker counties will be ongoing while the mine is being developed. The coal terminal at the Port of Mobile will be operational in approximately two years.