Friday, November 14, 2008

Graham: Feds ready to help Jafza build in Santee

By GENE ZALESKI, T&D Staff WriterWednesday, November 12, 2008

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is promising federal support for infrastructure for the Jafza South Carolina project he says will transform Orangeburg County and the entire state.

“What has benefited the coast from the Port of Charleston can benefit the interior of South Carolina,” Graham said at the 2008 Orangeburg County Economic Development Summit. “I have never been more excited about the opportunity to create jobs that are attached to the global economy and are not subject to being outsourced.”

Graham promised help from the federal level to make the project a reality.

“When it comes to the interchange, sure we will help,” he said. “When it comes to rail, sure we’ll help. We will hit the ground running in the Senate. One of the first things we will take up is infrastructure legislation.”

Dubai-based Jafza International plans to invest $600 million or more near Santee to develop a 1,300-acre logistics, manufacturing and distribution park.

Graham described Dubai as having a Jetson-type of environment.

“Going there is like going to the 23rd century,” Graham said. “It gives me hope about what can be in Iraq.

It gives me hope for the region.

“You have some very progressive people who are developing an economy I think will withstand the energy crisis ... but the fact that people from Dubai would see a business opportunity in Orangeburg says a lot about the world in which we live in. Who would ever think that changing the Panama Canal would change Orangeburg?”

There are plans to widen the Panama Canal, which is expected to increase the amount of cargo coming into the Port of Charleston, especially with the increased congestion in the western ports.

T&D Staff Writer Gene Zaleski can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 803-533-5551.

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