Verplank to open Muskegon port facility

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The M/V Mark W. Barker ship is scheduled to utilize the new port facility. Photo via Facebook.com

A new port along the lakeshore is scheduled to open this weekend.

Verplank Family Holding Co. is set to host a ribbon cutting and facility tour of its new Muskegon port facility at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at 151 N. Causeway St.

The new facility is on the site of the former B.C. Cobb plant, which was owned by Consumers Energy before it was decommissioned in 2018.

This weekend’s ceremony will mark the official opening of the port, which the company said is the largest deep-water port facility on the western shore of Michigan and the only one capable of taking a 1,000-foot freighter.

In addition, the new facility can handle more than 1 million tons annually, according to Verplank.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will feature remarks from Verplank CEO Ron Matthews, COO Nathan Gates, retired CEO and third-generation family leader Midge Verplank and Rep. Terry Sabo from the 92nd House District.

After formal remarks and the ribbon cutting, guests can tour the docks on Muskegon Lake via the Aquastar, courtesy of the West Michigan Port Operators.

Verplank officials also will open the doors to their new state-of-the-art asphalt plant, which the company relocated from its longtime location on Sherman Boulevard to a location one mile from the port site.

Verplank Dock Co., one of the subsidiaries of Verplank Family Holding Co., acquired the 115-acre site of the former B.C. Cobb plant in June 2020 from North Carolina-based Forsite Development Inc.

Forsite acquired the site from Consumers Energy in October 2017.

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