Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor celebrates Indiana’s Bicentennial with 200th vessel of 2016

[Nov. 29, 2016]

PORTAGE, Ind. – The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor today helped Indiana celebrate its Bicentennial by honoring the arrival of the shipping season’s 200th vessel, the Federal Oshima. To mark the event, the captain of the 656-foot bulk carrier from Europe was presented a commemorative Port of Indiana “Steel Stein” by the port director and the executive director of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission.

Over 1,500 bicentennial events have been held throughout the year across Indiana, including a 3,200-mile relay in which 2,300 Hoosiers walked, ran and carried the Bicentennial Torch from the state’s first Capital in Corydon through all 92 Indiana counties to Indianapolis. The grand finale of Indiana’s year-long birthday celebration will take place on Statehood Day, Sunday, Dec. 11, in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. This free, two-hour family event, “Celebrate Indiana: Ignite the Future,” begins at 10 am and will include a variety of speakers from diverse faith backgrounds as well as music, dance and more. Details are available at www.indiana2016.org.

“In 1816, Indiana’s founding fathers saw the potential for a Great Lakes port and extended the state’s boundary line 10 miles north giving Indiana 45 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline,” said Port Director Rick Heimann. “This foresight has given the world direct access to the Midwest by way of the Atlantic Ocean, St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes. Our Lake Michigan port provides a global connection for Indiana companies and today’s arrival of the Oshima means materials for Midwest steel processors and manufacturers.”

Owned and operated by Fednav Limited and built in 1999, the Marshall Islands-flagged Oshima picked up its steel cargo at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium and stopped in Milwaukee before coming to the Port of Indiana. Dock workers will unload over 12,600 tons of steel before Captain Pankaj Sah and his 22 crew members from India move on to Thunder Bay in Ontario to load potash for a return trip to Europe.

“Indiana has always been a hub of transportation and industry,” said Perry Hammock, Executive Director of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. “Our ports have also played a huge role in Indiana becoming a crossroads for the world. From steel and grain to wind turbines and coal, shipping is an important part of Indiana’s history and her future. We proudly honor Captain Sah and his crew for their ship being the 200th vessel to pass through Indiana’s Lake Michigan port this year.”

Heimann presented the captain with the Ports of Indiana Steel Stein. The Stein recognizes Northwest Indiana’s heritage as the “Steel Capital of North America” and the Port of Indiana as one of the top steel ports in the country for inbound and outbound shipments of steel and metal-related products. The port is home to 31 companies, including 15 steel-related businesses.

The steel shipment was unloaded by port stevedore Federal Marine Terminals with local workers from the International Longshoremen’s Assoc. and the International Union of Operating Engineers. The private and public docks at the port handle international ships as well as Great Lakes bulk carriers up to 1,000 feet in length carrying raw materials for the steel mills. The port also provides year-round barge access to more than 20 states and the Gulf of Mexico through the Inland Waterways System.

About the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor: The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor opened in 1970 and is managed by Ports of Indiana, a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Established in 1961, the Ports of Indiana is a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy by developing and maintaining a world-class port system. Information: portsofindiana.com.

About Indiana’s Bicentennial: Indiana’s 2016 Bicentennial Celebration aims to honor our state’s 200 years of history, and do so in a way that engages all 6.5 million Hoosiers while leaving a lasting legacy for future generations. In December 2011, former Governor Mitch Daniels appointed a 15 member Commission, chaired by Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, to oversee the planning and execution of a statewide celebration for Indiana’s 200th birthday. The Commission has endorsed more than 1,500 Legacy Projects in all 92 counties that focus on youth and education, historical celebration, community involvement and nature conservation. Many of the endorsed projects focus on health and well-being of Indiana children, as these children are the true legacy of the Bicentennial. Visit www.indiana2016.org to learn more about Indiana’s Bicentennial history in the making.

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Media Contact: Rich Allen, 317.232.9204, rallen@portsofindiana.com