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Louisiana exports reach $63.1 billion in 2013

Posted on: February 26th, 2014

Louisiana’s worldwide merchandize exports reached $63.1 billion in 2013, an increase of .3 percent from 2012, according to a report by the World Trade Center of New Orleans. The state’s chief export markets were China, Mexico and Canada, followed by Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore and Brazil. Louisiana ranked as one of the top exporting states in the country, surpassing Florida to place sixth overall.

The news comes after a banner year for U.S. exports, which set a new record of $15.8 trillion, a 2.14 percent rise from 2012.

Petroleum and coal products remained the top exported products in Louisiana, reaching $25.5 billion, a 9.7 percent rise from $23.2 billion the previous year. Agricultural and chemical products followed, posting earnings of $15.8 billion and $9.1 billion, respectively.

“Louisiana exports continue to be driven by investments in manufacturing and refining on the Lower Mississippi River,” said Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. He added that the state continues to “strive to reach the President’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2016.”

By contrast, petroleum and coal were only the fifth highest exported products in the United States, with agricultural products placing eighth overall.

The World Trade Center of New Orleans also noted that Louisiana showed a marked increase in exports to France and Panama last year. Exports to France surged by 121.9 percent from 2012, while exports to Panama climbed 110.13 percent.

Despite doing $8.23 billion in exports to China in 2013, the number represented an 11.57 percent decline from the previous year. A report published by the Associated Press attributed the slow-down to an increased domestic demand from Chinese consumers.

Information from: NOLA.com

Port of Lake Charles to Issue Revenue Bonds

Posted on: November 19th, 2013

Revenue bonds amounting to $40.5 million to fund capital improvements at the Port of Lake Charles will be sold in the municipal bond market Wednesday, Nov. 20, according to port executive director Bill Rase, and local investors will receive purchase priority.

The Port’s bond issue comes on the heels of a rating of A3 from Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) and a rating of A- from Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

David Moffett, an investment banker with Jefferies LLC, said his company is underwriting the bond sale. “The order period for bonds will begin on Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. CST and continue for about two hours, or until it is sold entirely. The revenue bond sale will close on Dec. 4 and investors will begin accruing interest at that time,” he said.

Southwest Louisiana residents will be given order priority to invest in the bonds, Moffett said. “Area residents will have the first opportunity to invest in the community.”

Bonds will be available in denominations of $5,000, and interest will be paid semi-annually. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are the selling group members. Certain bond maturities will be exempt from federal and state income taxes, while others will be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

Bonds may only be purchased through a broker and through a final Official Statement. Potential investors are instructed to contact Bank of America Merrill Lynch at 337-491-0700, Morgan Stanley on Lake Street at 337-479-7610 or Morgan Stanley on Pujo Street at 337-439-9461.

The rating agencies referenced the Port’s prudent liquidity and expense policy, the expected effective management of the Port’s capital program, and the announcement of several projects that will be located on Port property as key factors to receiving the favorable bond ratings.

Within the past 24 months, projects totaling almost $50 billion have been announced by companies planning to do business in the area, with many of those projects locating on Port property. Among those companies are Sasol North America, Trunkline LNG, Golden Nugget Casino Resort, Lake Charles Clean Energy, Sempra Energy, IFG Port Holdings, Magnolia LNG and G2X Energy. Initial reports from these companies estimate the projects will create nearly 18,000 construction jobs and 14,000 additional direct and indirect jobs.

The Port finished the 2012 fiscal year with nearly $34 million in operating revenues and nearly $14 million in Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA), a measure of the Port’s operating cash flow.

“The Port of Lake Charles’ forward-looking management team and visionary board of commissioners gives us an advantage in the market,” said Rase. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently ranked the Port of Lake Charles as the thirteenth-busiest port in the nation, based on cargo tonnage.

“The funds will be backed by monies the Port has in secure revenue from companies operating here. The bonds will not be dependent on a tax,” said Rase. “This will allow the Port to build two new docks and complete many other capital projects, which we expect to generate even more revenue and lead to the creation of more jobs.”

The $40.5 million bond sale is the first issue since the Louisiana State Bond Commission in October approved up to $100 million in Port bonds. The proceeds from these bonds will fund part of the Port’s $227 million capital improvement plan.

Future bond issues will be determined by further needs for improvements caused by industrial growth in the region.


Work starting on $70 million Lake Area employee village on port property

Posted on: November 13th, 2013
A private company broke ground Tuesday for a $70 million housing facility it plans to build on port property to meet the area’s projected workforce demands.

The construction of the temporary employee village, named Pelican Lodge, is expected to bring in 400 jobs. But once completed, in mid-2015, it could be home to as many as 4,000 construction workers.

In June, the Port Board unanimously approved a lease option agreement. Bill Rase, port executive director, said efforts like these “put Southwest Louisiana on the map” internationally.

Over the next five years, more than 15,000 construction jobs are expected to come from the more than $47 billion worth of investments in Southwest Louisiana.

“In order for these projects to be successful we have to have a place for workers to stay that is similar to home,” Rase said. “It’s not just a boarding house.”

Details of the plans, which include a baseball field, basketball courts and several different dining options, were first released in April.

Greenfield Logistical Solutions of Louisiana LLC will build the facility on 200 acres of port land at 1100 James Sudduth Parkway. Sammy Pate, project manager and partner with GLS, said the housing is so much more than a “traditional man camp.”

The plan includes daily meals and transportation to and from work for residents. GLS is looking at having five double-decker buses that can transport 80 people per bus. That will be 80 fewer cars per bus on the road going to the various sites, Rase said, adding rent will be $130 per day.

Through the lease agreement, the port is set to make $360,000 per year, as well as a percentage from the number of “heads on beds,” Rase has said. The port will get a dollar a day for each resident. At full capacity, Pelican Lodge could mean an additional $1.46 million a year for the port.

Unit fabrication will be done in Houston, and the facility will be set up in Lake Charles in three phases.

Pate said solidification of the project comes on the heels of collaborative efforts by the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, Sowela Technical Community College, McNeese State University, state legislators, the port, the parish and the city of Lake Charles.

By Lance Traweek, American Press

New Ship Unloader Crane at Port of LC

Posted on: November 8th, 2013

Lake Charles, LA—The Port of Lake Charles installed a new ship unloader crane at BT-1, enabling an increase in its cargo capacity and handling efficiencies. BT-1 now has two unloaders that can operate at the same time.  For example, when discharging cargo from a ship, one crane will be used to place the material onto a conveyor belt, while the other will be able to simultaneously unload the cargo directly from ship to truck.

The Port contracted Morris Material Handlings of Wisconsin to manufacture the ship unloader. “This project was uncommon in that 90 percent of the crane and its components are being manufactured and constructed in the United States, because most of manufacturers for this type of crane are overseas,” says Donald Brinkman, Director of Port Engineering. “Even more exciting is that the ship unloader was fabricated right here in Louisiana.”

The crane is approximately 174 ft. tall and weighs approximately 900 tons. The total project cost was an estimated $14 million, which favorably impacted the New Iberia and Louisiana economies.

The ship unloader was fully assembled and tested at the Port of Iberia then shipped by barge to the Port of Lake Charles.

The Port of Lake Charles encompasses 203 square miles in Louisiana and owns and operates two marine terminals and two industrial parks. It is currently ranked the thirteenth-busiest seaport district in the U.S. based on cargo tonnage according to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. For more information on the Port of Lake Charles, contact 337 439-3661.

State Bond Commission approves Port of LC Revenue Bonds

Posted on: October 17th, 2013

The Louisiana State Bond Commission on Thursday morning gave its approval for the Port of Lake Charles to issue up to $100 million in revenue bonds.

According to Michael Dees with the Port of Lake Charles, the funds are not supported by tax, and will instead be backed by monies they already have in secure port revenue.

Since the port will be using its own money in fees, it has already collected from the companies operating there, the bonds will not be using any public money and therefore will require no voter approval.

The bonds will allow the port to build two new docks and complete other capital projects which is expected to generate even more revenue and lead to the creation of more jobs.

Jason Duke/KPLC-TV

More Jobs Predicted for LC

Posted on: October 17th, 2013

A state economist forecasts the Lake Charles metropolitan statistical area to add 3,300 jobs in 2014 and 4,500 more jobs in 2015 — an increase of 8.1 percent in two years.

Loren Scott gave an optimistic outlook for the area during his annual report to business leaders on Wednesday at the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center.

“No other MSA in the state is expected to come close to this growth rate,” Scott said in his report. “Sometime in 2014, Lake Charles should surpass its previous peak reached back in 2008 and begin to set new employment records. In fact, we project that in 2015 this MSA will break through a barrier which has been seemingly illusive since the mid-’90s — over 100,000 employed.”

The promising outlook is attributed to the looming $46.6 billion worth of industrial expansions for the area. He said LNG export facilities are the driving force in investments.    He said the one cause for concern is finding enough workers. He expects the number of workers needed to rise from 6,000 to 14,000 by 2017 — the peak time for construction.    Scott posed the question: “Where are you going to get 8,000 new people?”

He commended efforts by Greenfield Logistics Solutions, which leased land from the Port of Lake Charles to build a $70 million “man camp” on 200 acres.

“I’ve been coming here for a lot of years, and I’ve never seen numbers like these,” Scott told business leaders. “It’s a scary thing to forecast numbers this big.”

He said that unless there is a large increase in natural gas prices, the Lake Charles MSA should be the “shining light” in the state’s economy in the coming years.

Scott also said the only thing holding the Lake Charles MSA back is the sluggish national economy.

“This has been the worst recovery that we’ve had since World War II,” he said.    Scott said the issue with the nation’s recovery is the federal government “raising tax rates and increasing regulations.”

By Lance Traweek/American Press

Port of Lake Charles Provides Update on Various Projects

Posted on: July 18th, 2013

In a year of worldwide economic uncertainty, the Port has continued to grow and achieve financial success. The financial results for 2012 show almost $34 million in operating revenues and nearly $14 million in EBITDA, a measure of the port’s operating cash flow.

How has the Port of Lake Charles been able to stay on such a steady and successful course through such a shaky economy? The port continues to keep cargo flowing, begin new projects, complete a series of infrastructure improvements, and bring in new business—creating jobs and spurring a convoy of economic development.

Find out more in this insightful Community Update Powerpoint Presentation.

GLS to build a workforce housing project on port property

Posted on: May 15th, 2013

Greenfield Logistical Services (GLS) of Louisiaana plans to build a workforce housing project on port property. GLS will invest approximately $70 million in the development of the workforce housing project, and the company will lease the site from the Port of Lake Charles. The Port will not fund the development but is in support of the project.

For more information on the workforce housing project, download the fact sheet.

Port of LC to Lease 108 Acres to Magnolia LNG

Posted on: March 13th, 2013

Port of Lake Charles Commissioners on Wednesday approved an option for a long-term lease agreement on 108 acres with Magnolia LNG, an Australian-based energy company that plans to build a $2.2 billion export facility that will produce 4 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas per year.

Magnolia LNG will be located adjacent to Calcasieu Point Landing on the Industrial Canal and across from the 200-acre G2X Energy site. Construction is expected to begin in 2015, pending construction and federal permits.

Maurice Brand, Magnolia LNG managing director and joint chief executive director, said the project will create 70 to 80 new permanent jobs and an estimated 400 construction jobs.

“The Port of Lake Charles has been able to provide a unique combination of location, infrastructure and transportation capabilities to help bring this project to the region,” Port Executive Director Bill Rase said in a news release. “Magnolia LNG will be a significant and welcome addition to Southwest Louisiana’s energy corridor. The port’s staff and board of commissioners look forward to doing business with the company.”

The Port of Lake Charles encompasses 203 square miles in Louisiana and owns and operates two marine terminals and two industrial parks and is the fourteenth-busiest seaport district in the U.S. according to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. For more information on the Port of Lake Charles, visit www.portlc.com or call 337-493-3513.

Two new industrial facilities to be located on Port of Lake Charles property

Posted on: January 24th, 2013

Port of Lake Charles Commissioners on Thursday approved an option for a long-term lease agreement on 200 acres with G2X Energy, a Houston-based energy company that plans to build a $1.3 billion natural gas-to-gasoline facility on port property located across from Calcasieu Point Landing on the Industrial Canal.

The G2X Energy project is expected to create 243 new direct jobs, resulting in an estimated 748 new indirect jobs. According to the company, the direct jobs will pay an average salary of $66,500 plus benefits.

“The Port of Lake Charles property was chosen for the new energy project due to its refined logistics, transportation infrastructure and cooperative assistance, as well as the state’s business climate,” said Port Director Bill Rase. “The product can be distributed by pipeline to U.S. markets and by ship to foreign markets.”

Helping to secure the project, Louisiana Economic Development offered a $5-million performance-based grant for infrastructure improvements at the Port, including an access road, utilities and a dock facility.

Should groundbreaking begin in mid-2014, G2X expects construction to span three years, leading to an estimated completion date in mid-2017.

Along with visionary leaders and the state’s business climate, Port of Lake Charles Executive Director Bill Rase credited the Calcasieu River Ship Channel itself for the latest string of industrial announcements.

“The channel is maintained by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers with the port serving as local sponsor for the state. The channel is greatly responsible for our region’s thriving energy corridor, and the port has played a crucial role in this community’s economic development since opening its first wharf and transit shed in 1926,” said Rase. “In 2012 alone, major announcements from Ameristar, Lake Charles Clean Energy, Sasol and now G2X have been due in part to the Calcasieu River Ship Channel.”

The impact of Ameristar, Lake Charles Clean Energy, Sasol and G2X will benefit the region for a very long time. Initial reports estimate a total of 15,000 to 20,000 construction jobs for the combined projects, in addition to an estimated 14,000 permanent direct and indirect jobs. The 2012 announced projects along the channel represent a capital investment estimated at between $20.3 and $25.3 billion dollars.

President Harry Hank of the board of commissioners said “The ship channel is important not just for Southwest Louisiana, but for the entire country. This waterway is the carrier of 7.5 percent of the nation’s daily oil consumption and handles 58 million tons of cargo annually.”

In addition, dozens more Port of Lake Charles tenants and customers benefit from the Calcasieu River Ship Channel. Those include Alcoa, Ameristar, Arrow Terminals, BG Americas and Global LNG, Cal Western Packaging, Citgo, Crowley Marine, Dynamic Industries, Farmers Rice Mill, Federal Marine Terminals, Firestone, Foss International, Francis Drilling Fluids, Gearbulk, Geo Specialty Chemicals, Halliburton, IFG Port Holdings, James J. Flanagan, Lake Charles Clean Energy, Lake Charles Stevedores, Leevac Industries, Louis-Dreyfus Corp., Louisiana Pigment, Louisiana Rice Mill, Phillips 66, Pinnacle Entertainment, Port Aggregates, Reid and Company, Sam’s, Sasol, Sempra Energy, Shaw Modular Solutions, Talen’s Marine, Trunkline LNG, Union Pacific Railroad and USDA.

On the heels of the port’s decision to option to lease 200 acres to G2X, Magnolia LNG announced plans for a $2.2 billion export facility on Thursday to be located on Port of Lake Charles property. Maurice Brand, Magnolia LNG managing director and joint chief executive director, announced plans to develop a natural liquefaction production and export facility that would create 45 new permanent jobs and an estimated 1,000 construction jobs.

The mid-scale LNG facility would be located on 108 acres at the port’s Industrial Canal and would produce 4 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas per year. Construction would be in 2015 pending the company’s attainment of permits and final financing.

The Port of Lake Charles encompasses 203 square miles in Louisiana and owns and operates two marine terminals and two industrial parks and is the fourteenth-busiest seaport district in the U.S. according to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. For more information on the Port of Lake Charles, visit www.portlc.com or call 337-493-3513.