In this issue: Dr. Burckel Selected As McNeese President, Calcasieu Ship Channel Impacts, Updates on Southern Ionics and Lake Charles Methanol and more.
From John Ware, KPLC-TV
To view video, click here.
The Calcasieu Ship Channel is vital to our economy.
Estimates are that 36,000 jobs and 46 cents out of every dollar in your pocket comes from ship channel-related activities. Our industries rely on the channel to bring in raw materials and export products. That’s an economic driver we can’t afford to lose.
But there’s a problem. The channel has to be dredged to keep it deep enough for big ships. It costs about $8 million a year from the state budget to acquire space for the dredging.
But the channel generates about $155 million a year in state taxes, so it’s a good investment. If I asked you to give me $8 and told you I’d give you back $155, you’d probably want to make that deal. The state should also want to make a deal like that.
As the legislature looks for places to save money in the state budget, we think it’s crucial that they keep this investment in Southwest Louisiana. We suggest you support the ship channel and the Port of Lake Charles, and ask the state to do the same.
Without the channel, it would be tough to keep Southwest Louisiana open for business.
The following presentation was given by the Port of Lake Charles to the Louisiana Gas & Oil Association. Please click here to view.
Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District board of commissioner, Elcie J. Guillory, was honored with this year’s Charles A. Downing Humanitarian Award on Oct. 21. The award was presented by Nancy Sanner and Mark Judson. The prestigious award was presented by the SWLA Law Center, and it is named for the late psychologist who provided services to the disadvantaged.
LAKE CHARLES, La.—In celebration of September as National Rice Month, the Calcasieu-Cameron Rice Growers sponsored the 19th Annual Rice Cook-Off on Tues., Sept. 20 at the Brick House in downtown Lake Charles. The Port of Lake Charles hosted the event and sponsored the awards luncheon. Family and Consumer Science students from thirteen area middle schools and high schools participated in the event.
1st place for the “Best Dish” category went to Kierra Walker of S.J. Welsh Middle School; 2nd place went to Rachel McVey of Iowa High School; 3rd place was awarded to Makayla Hodge of South Beauregard High School; and “Most Heart Healthy” dish went to Evie Talbot of Moss Bluff Middle School. Farmers Rice Milling Co., Inc. sponsored rice cookers for each contestant.
The production, milling and exportation of rice have major economic effects on Southwest Louisiana, and the event helps to educate local students in health and nutrition issues facing Southwest Louisiana families.
For more information, contact Michelle Bolen with the Port of Lake Charles at 337-493-3501.
Read about the Southwest Alliance Executive Committee here.
The following points, as mandated by federal law and federal regulations, address the train horn use:
In recent months and in order to service a new grain terminal, owned and operated by IFG Port Holdings, LLC, located at City Docks, unit trains of grain have begun to use the tracks that have been in place and in use since 1930’s.
Unit trains consist of trains of approximately 100 to 120 rail cars. The trains are delivered on an unscheduled 24-hour basis by the Union Pacific Railroad Company to a staging yard near Chennault. Port Rail, Inc., by contract with the Union Pacific Railroad Company, must deliver each unit train to the grain terminal for unloading by the grain terminal and return every empty unit train to the same staging yard near Chennault. This needs to be accomplished within a thirty-six (36) hour time frame. If the unit train is not timely returned, substantial monetary penalties are imposed by Union Pacific.
As any train transits the rail track, federal law, as referenced above, requires the train to sound its horn at every public road crossing of the track in accordance with the train horn rule. There are approximately forty crossings between Highway 14 and City Docks. These numerous crossings require almost a constant sounding of the horn by the train to meet mandated federal law for proper operation of the train. There is no way for the train to properly operate within the law and comply with the contractual agreements with the Union Pacific Railroad Company without working twenty-four (24) hours per day and without sounding the horn for each and every crossing.
If the horn is not sounded at night or during the day, substantial penalties and fines can be imposed by the Federal Railroad Administration and substantial liability may occur to the train if an accident happens without the proper rules being followed.
Federal law concerning train horn use is referenced in 49 CFR Part 222.
Community leaders in the 1920s had the foresight to open Calcasieu Parish to maritime business, and even if they couldn’t predict today’s massive economic boom, they understood that a deepwater port would transform Southwest Louisiana into a thriving economic powerhouse.
This year, the Port of Lake Charles celebrates a long and rich 90-year history as the region’s leading economic driver. Simultaneously this year, the Calcasieu Ship Channel also celebrates its 75th anniversary. The waterway was engineered in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s to straighten, widen and deepen the Calcasieu River from Lake Charles to the Gulf of Mexico, making Lake Charles a deepwater port, although it is 36 miles inland.
The ship channel became a highway for the delivery of goods, both inbound and outbound, and dozens of companies built facilities on the channel to produce, process, send or receive those goods. Because of this growth, the Port of Lake Charles has grown to become the 11th-busiest port in the United States by tonnage, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers figures for 2013, the latest year available.
The Port of Lake Charles board of commissioners recently authorized executive director Bill Rase to enter into a lease agreement with Southern Ionics, Inc., for the use of the District’s Warehouse 15-B and land located at City Docks. The initial term for the agreement will be five years with two additional five-year terms.
Southern Ionics, Inc. is a corporation that manufactures and ships sulfur, alumina, aqua-ammonia and zirconium chemicals. The products have widespread use for wastewater treatment, air pollution control, catalyst manufacturing, drilling mud additives and other industrial applications. The company has locations across the southeastern United States, including Baton Rouge, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, among others.
The maritime industry has always been an integral component of Southwest Louisiana’s history and culture. Deepwater access connects Lake Charles to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a wider, global economy. We have the Calcasieu Ship Channel to thank for tremendous growth in maritime transportation.
Lumber and agriculture controlled commerce in the region in the early 19th century, and with it came a demand for easy access to resources across Calcasieu Parish. The Intracoastal Canal connecting the Calcasieu and Sabine rivers was completed in 1915, and business leaders saw this as an opportunity to open Calcasieu Parish for maritime business.
In 1924, the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District was authorized by the Louisiana Legislature, and on April 2, 1926, the SS Sewalls Point was the first oceangoing vessel to bring cargo to the newly authorized Port of Lake Charles.
An even wider and deeper channel was in demand as local industry continued to boom, and Congress appropriated $9.2 million for channel dredging and construction of the Calcasieu jetties in 1938. As a result, the Calcasieu Ship Channel was dredged from Lake Charles to the Gulf of Mexico 36 miles south, and the channel reached a depth of 33 feet and a width of 250 feet. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the channel was expanded to 40-foot-deep and 400-foot-wide, the current federal mandate.
With the 90th anniversary of the Port arriving in 2016, the public is once again called to see the bigger picture and envision Southwest Louisiana’s best possible future. The importance of the ship channel reaches across the generations, and we must be its caretakers in order to keep our link to the rest of the world open.
The Port is proud to announce that Dr. Daryl Burckel has been appointed the president of its board of commissioners for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Dr. Burckel, CPA, CVA, is a Professor of Accounting and holds the Thelma and Ray Dingler Endowed Professorship in Business Research at McNeese State University. Dr. Burckel served as Department Chair of the Accounting, Finance and Economic Department from 1996-2002.
Dr. Burckel began his university teaching career at McNeese in 1986 and later taught at the University of New Orleans and Mississippi State before returning to McNeese in 1992. Dr. Burckel has authored numerous reference journal articles in financial accounting, taxation and various business topics. He has presented academic papers at professional meetings, taught continuing education classes for CPAs, and given numerous talks to civic clubs and professional organizations.
Dr. Burckel has provided extensive service to the Southwest Louisiana business community through numerous local and state economic development studies. He has consulted for numerous local governmental entities and directs the work of graduate students on local governmental projects. Dr. Burckel enjoys serving on local and state boards that impact the Southwest Louisiana community.
In addition to Dr. Burckel’s appointment as president, Dudley Dixon has been selected as vice president, Mike Eason has been appointed Secretary/Treasurer and Walter Sanchez has been selected as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.
You can subscribe to the Port of Lake Charles Newsletter here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2016
Lake Charles, La.—The Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District board of commissioners recently authorized executive director Bill Rase to enter into a lease agreement with Southern Ionics, Inc., for the use of the District’s Warehouse 15-B and vacant land located at City Docks. The initial term for the agreement will be five years with two additional five-year terms.
The president of Southern Ionics, Inc., Milton Sundbeck, addressed the commissioners at the April board meeting. “It’s an exciting time. We look forward to working with the Port on this project,” said Sundbeck.
Southern Ionics, Inc. is a corporation that manufactures and ships sulfur chemicals, aluminum chemicals, aqua-ammonia and zirconium chemicals, and the products have widespread use for wastewater treatment, air pollution control, catalyst manufacturing, drilling mud additives and other industrial applications. The company has locations across the southeastern United States, including Baton Rouge, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, among others.
The Port of Lake Charles (Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District) oversees commerce on the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Southwest Louisiana. It operates two marine terminals and owns more than 5,000 acres zoned for industrial use, including an industrial park. The District is a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana and is governed by a seven-member board of commissioners. For more information, call 337-439-3661 or visit www.portlc.com.