There are four sectors that offer significant and demonstrable potential for industry development, job creation, capital investment and beneficial economic development in the Corridor:
Potash Mining and Processing
Potash is an important commodity in global agricultural and industrial markets. It is used for fertilizers, feed supplements and in industrial applications including aluminum recycling, water treatment and snow melting. According to an American West Potash report, a world shortage of potash, limited global reserves, increasing global demand, improved mining technologies and increasing sale prices have made the Real AZ Corridor project economically viable. There is evidence that the Real AZ Corridor has the potential to become the largest area of potash production in the world.
Diversified Energy Production
The Corridor is home to three modern and expanding coal-fired power plants; Arizona’s largest commercial-scale wind farm; solar, biomass and geothermal energy development; CO2 storage capacity and unmatched synergy of sector development. There are few areas that are as well positioned as Navajo and Apache counties to take advantage of emerging energy technologies and evolving energy production and distribution processes, Federal incentives and funding, and private, venture capital investment. The Real AZ Corridor is undeniably Arizona’s Energy Corridor. The future of energy production — for Arizona and other power-hungry Southwest states — can be seen here, in development and already at work.
Future Forest and Forest Management Industries
The Real AZ Corridor is home to three National Forests and the largest stand of Ponderosa Pines in the world. No other region in Arizona is as well positioned to leverage future forest practices and technologies, emerging biomass utilization processes and developing wood products markets. Forest management is an essential element to wildfire mitigation. The reality of that need, the creation of new legislation supporting forest management and industry, and the support of environmentalists as well as business owners and investors bodes very well for the sustainable development of this sector in the Real AZ Corridor.
Algae & Other Biosciences
The Real AZ Corridor is already home to a number of companies that are involved in ground-breaking work in the agricultural and biosciences sectors. Algae Biosciences, Inc. researches, develops and manufacturers micro and macro algae for use in nutraceuticals (including Omega-3 fatty acid oils), food additives and pharmaceuticals. Near-perfect growing conditions, moderate temperatures, high duration-high intensity sunlight, and an abundant saline water supply led the company to call the Real AZ Corridor a ‘geographic sweet spot’ for efficient, high volume algae production.
The abundant availability of high-saline water and near-perfect growing conditions makes the Real AZ Corridor well-suited for large-scale marine algae cultivation and harvesting. The existence of three major (and expanding) coal-fired power plants is also likely to drive the expansion of algae cultivation to help mitigate power generation and manufacturing emissions and to produce a viable — and potentially abundant — source of carbon offset credits.
The future of the Real AZ Corridor is very bright indeed!