Port of Lake Charles

Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District
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Hurricane Plan 2019

Posted on: May 24th, 2019

The Port provides safe harbor for all vessels at no charge on a first come, first serve basis until it has no additional occupancy. It provided refuge for 130 to 150 such vessels during Hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

Download the Port of Lake Charles Hurricane Plan:

Hurricane Plan 2019

Port of LC rating boosted

Posted on: April 29th, 2019

This month, Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings increased the Port of Lake Charles’ bond rating from A- to A+, port officials announced on Wednesday.

The credit agency increased the port’s bond rating because of “strong management” and “extremely strong economic fundamentals,” according to a news release. A report by S&P commended the port board’s record of operating facilities and managing the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District’s finances.

“We expect it will manage the (capital improvement plan) prudently,” the report reads. S&P also mentioned how the port’s long-term lease agreements with various tenants keep the local economy stable.

This is the second credit rating agency to upgrade the port’s bond rating. Earlier, Moody’s Investor Service upgraded the port’s bond rating from A3 to A2. The decision was made because of the port’s “strong financial position” and “conservative debt management strategy,” according to a statement on Moody’s website.

“The stable outlook reflects Moody’s expectation that financial performance, including very strong coverage ratios and liquidity, will continue over the near term,” the statement reads.

Port Board President Mike Eason said bond rating upgrades like this are unique.

Bill Rase, port executive director, said the upgrades from both agencies “speaks to its stability and viability for the future.”

“It’s a great sign that good things are happening here, and even better things are coming,” he said.


Two credit rating agencies upgrade Port of Lake Charles’ bond rating

Posted on: April 24th, 2019

April 24, 2019

LAKE CHARLES, La. — S&P Global Ratings became the second credit rating agency to upgrade the Port of Lake Charles’ bond rating this month, citing increased confidence in the Port and the Southwest Louisiana economy.

S&P raised the Port’s bond rating two notches, from A- to A+ because of what it saw as “strong management” at the Port and “extremely strong economic fundamentals” in Southwest Louisiana.

Previously, Moody’s Investor Service upgraded the Port’s bond rating from A3 to A2. Moody’s report attributed the increase to the Port’s “strong financial position” and “conservative debt management strategy,” along with the area’s thriving energy sector.

Mike Eason, president of the board of commissioners for the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District, said bond rating upgrades like this have been “extremely rare since 2008,” and that two-notch upgrades are virtually unheard of.

“The board has a good record operating the Port facilities and managing the district’s finances, and we expect it will manage the CIP (capital improvement plan) prudently,” S&P’s report reads.

The Port serves as landlord to companies along the Calcasieu Ship Channel, in addition to operating several marine terminals. S&P’s report said the Port benefits from long-term lease agreements with a diverse group of tenants, helping to stabilize the local economy.

It said tonnage and tenant base at the Port of Lake Charles is expected to change as projects start to come online, like Cameron LNG’s $10 billion liquefaction export facility.

“The fact that not one, but two agencies made significant upgrades to the Port’s bond rating speaks to its stability and viability for the future,” said Bill Rase, executive director for the Port of Lake Charles. “It’s a great sign that good things are happening here, and even better things are coming.”

Moody’s upgrades Port of Lake Charles’ bond rating, cites “strong financial position”

Posted on: April 12th, 2019

LAKE CHARLES, La. — In a show of confidence, national credit rating group Moody’s Investor Service upgraded the Port of Lake Charles’ bond rating this month, citing its “strong financial position” and “conservative debt management strategy.”

The rating, which measures the Port’s creditworthiness, has increased from A3 to A2 on Port revenue bonds.

“Bond rating upgrades like this have been extremely rare since 2008,” said Mike Eason, president of the board of commissioners for the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District. “This upgrade is a testament to the effectiveness of the Port’s entire leadership team, as an upgrade not only confirms the financial strength of an entity but also reflects a high level of confidence in an organization’s management.”

The Port’s total operating revenue has benefited from its success both as an operator of several marine terminals along the Calcasieu Ship Channel and as a landlord to Channel industries, according to Moody’s report.

The report also designated the Port’s outlook as “stable,” a sign of its confidence in the future of the organization and the region’s economy.

“The stable outlook reflects Moody’s expectation that financial performance, including very strong coverage ratios and liquidity, will continue over the near term,” the report reads. “Another wave of cargo activity this year boosted by construction of major private projects will support this trend. “

Job growth and sales tax revenues have skyrocketed in Southwest Louisiana over the past several years as a result of major capital investments, many tied to the Port and the Channel. The report said the region’s booming energy sector comprises companies that “thrive in different oil and gas price environments,” helping to diversify and stabilize the economy.

Port of Lake Charles Annual Report

Posted on: March 28th, 2019

View this Lagniappe article as a .pdf file.

An Ever-Widening Role

The Port of Lake Charles has anchored the Southwest Louisiana economy for nearly a century. That mission continues in 2019.

The Port has come a long way since, say, 1950, when rice was king. Today, it has a far-reaching vision — with a wide-ranging capital projects plan to meet its needs for, say, 2050.

The Port — more formally, the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District and its environs — accounts for a large percentage of local economic revenue and more than $34 million in annual Lake Charles tax revenue.

The District is more than just the port facilities that might first come to mind, such as the main entrance, rail trail and administrative offices situated at the end of West Sallier Street. It actually covers more than 200 square miles in Calcasieu Parish and operates 5,400-plus acres.

Among the Port-related operations up and down the waterway are two jewel boxes that provide thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact: L’Auberge Casino Resort and Golden Nugget Lake Charles. Both stand on leased waterside property. The Port is literally the landlord.

Cargo and industrial facilitation, however, are the daily meat-and-potatoes work of the Port team.

The key to global Port access is the Calcasieu Ship Channel, which offers a world-class route to and from the Gulf of Mexico.

“We work hard to make sure our facilities and our services make economic sense for companies wanting to move cargo through an efficient transportation hub on the U.S. Gulf Coast,” Port Executive Director Bill Rase has said.

To accomplish that, Rase and the Port team are looking to the future to meet new challenges in the coming generation.

1950 Versus 2050

“Southwest Louisiana booms with room to grow and move product,” Business Facilities reports. The magazine cites the Port and Ship Channel as among the reasons.

To understand where things are, it’s telling to see where things used to be. Let’s revisit the Port’s 1950 scenario, for example.

That year, the Port handled more than two-thirds of the rice harvested in mid-20th-century America. Today, the port handles a much wider variety of cargoes — for industrial and commercial purposes, not just local agricultural yields. Global trade vessels once earned local headlines for the novelty of their visits; today, they’re commonplace visitors. Rice, though, remains a very important cargo even as the Port handles a more diversified cargo base that it did in the 1950s.

Business and industry needs have changed. The Port has evolved with the changing times — and the value of capital improvement projects that were completed a half-century ago helped make the Port the economic facilitator it is today.

Further, Rase said, The Port is looking ahead with plans that make the 2050 version of the Port far different from the one of 1950.

The keys, he says, are capital improvement projects that accommodate more diverse cargoes, new transport processes and even the sheer weight-load capacity of docks, which Rase says must be multiple times stronger to meet nedemands.

Optimism Anchored by Fact

There’s an unprecedented industrial boom in Southwest Louisiana, as everyone knows.

The Port is right in the thick of it.

The formal term is “industrial announcements,” used in places like the economic forecasts of longtime Louisiana economist Loren Scott. But even Scott translates that into the real result: “Jobs.” His most recent look at the area notes that the five-parish Southwest Louisiana region “has garnered an astounding $116.8 billion in industrial announcements since 2012 … and is expected to continue in its role as the fastest growing (market) in the state, adding 4,000 jobs (+3.3 percent) in 2019 and anotther 5,300 jobs (+4.3 percent) in 2020.”

Those projects include billions of dollars in expansion and new construction by industries who intend to build — or have already gone vertical — along the Calcasieu Ship Channel and at the Port of Lake Charles. The bulk of this work is ethylene plants and liquefied natural gas, or LNG. That’s how the Port and Ship Channel facilitate major industrial announcements that build the over dollar figure at what Scott describes as “an unheard-of number.”

In Southwest Louisiana, “LNG” is three-letter shorthand for part of the boom. So is “gas” in general.

Various natural gas enterprises in Texas and Louisiana have “roared back to life,” the Houston Chronicle reported, “thanks to higher natural gas prices and a slew of new liquefied natural gas export terminals coming online along the Gulf Coast.” The Calcasieu Ship Channel is a major component in this trend.

Cargo, Cargo, Cargo

The Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District is the 12th-busiest port in the nation, based on tonnage, says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In addition to the 56 million tons of cargo (inbound and outbound) handled along the ship channel, another five million tons of cargo are loaded and unloaded yearly at these Port of Lake Charles terminals:

  • The City Docks, which can accommodate up to a dozen ships at a time.
  • The Automated Terminal at the City Docks, with machinery connected to a 189,000-square-foot warehouse.
  • Bulk Terminal No. 1, which handles more than 3.1 million metric tons of dry bulk material annually.
  • Terminal BT-4, which specializes in aggregate and moves 1 million metric tons each year.

More could be coming.

The multipurpose shipping market — which includes breakbulk cargo, like the kinds handled at the Port — will show improvement in 2019, researchers for Drewry are forecasting. Maritime Executive reports that the new year “has started with renewed optimism … we believe a steady growth of around 2 to 3 percent per year is possible.”

Natural gas pipeline projects are cited as one of the reasons for the optimism.

The Crystal Ball

“Waterways are crucial for global trade and the economy,” notes Nasdaq in a report on world shipping commerce. “The global marine port and service market is expected to reach an estimated $87.8 billion by 2023.”

Fortune magazine has ranked Lake Charles the seventh-fastest growing port in the country.

With its current volume, coupled with its ambitious multi-year plan of substantial capital improvements, the Port hopes to push the number even higher.


FULL SPEED AHEAD – Director Bill Rase hints at some ‘fairly nice announcements’ by mid-year

Posted on: December 16th, 2018

Crystal Stevenson – Dec 16, 2018

The Port of Lake Charles will be starting off the coming year ranked by Fortune as the No. 7 port in the nation for growth.

But director Bill Rase sees that number climbing even higher.

“As the year unfolds, things change and rotate and we think we’re going to have a couple of fairly nice announcements by mid-year that would bring a little more economic development to the area,” Rase said. “These will not be LNG facilities, which means we will have a little bit of diversification of our energy world.”

Rase said one of the projects is about a $1.9 billion operation and the other is in the ballpark of $4.56 billion.

“Overall they’ll probably provide 300-400 jobs between the two of them,” he said. “It will be a nice addition to the area.”

Rase said that by 2022, the port itself is looking at about $184 million worth of new projects that would “improve or add to the facilities we already have.” These projects include replacing two new docks that were built in the 1920s, building additional rail storage and switching abilities, redoing the ship loader and unloader, and upgrades to the sewer system and roadways.

“These projects will be strung out as we go but I think they will be really beneficial to keeping the port in a position to handle the types of cargo that the moderate port handles today,” Rase said. “It’s changed considerably from 25 years ago to where we are today.”

Rase said the port is landlord to more than 60 companies, and is engaged in oil and gas enterprises, chemicals, gaming and other businesses.

Major tenants of the port include L’Auberge Casino Resort and Gold Nugget Lake Charles. The port also has a wide portfolio of leases, option agreements and customer relationships with Sasol, Alcoa, Cameron LNG, Magnolia LNG, Tellurian LNG, G2X Methanol, Lake Charles Methanol and Southern Ionics. Other major customers and tenants are ADM Rice, Arrow Terminals, Citgo, Crowley Marine, Dynamic Industries, Farmers Rice Mill, Federal Marine Terminals, Firestone, G2X Energy, G2Ocean, Geo Specialty Chemicals, Halliburton, IFG Port Holdings, Flanagan Shipping, Lake Charles Stevedores, Louisiana Pigment, Supreme/Louisiana Rice Mill, Energy Transfer, Phillips 66, Port Aggregates, Reid and Co., Sam’s Club, CBI Modular Solutions, Sonic Stevedores, Talen’s Marine, Lake Charles LNG, Union Pacific Railroad, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Port Rail.

“The revenues produced by the port in 2002 were about $15 million,” Rase said. “Last year, we were $41 million. We’ve been able to really take our financial position as well as our cargo mix and … balance our books, if you will.”

He said the net income for 2018 is expected to exceed budget by $2.4 million.

The port also received a bond rating of “A3” from Moody’s this year and a S&P affirmed bond rating of A-.

“That’s very important when you’re talking to companies that are going to invest billions of dollars,” he said. “We show that we have financial stability. The port has stabilized itself and diversified itself so that we are not locked into one thing to sustain the port.”

Ship channel

Rase said on the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal side, which takes care of the ship channel, the dredging issue is always going to be forefront.

“We continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and all of our local delegations, both locally and in Washington, to make sure that our channel is not overlooked,” Rase said. “So far it’s not; we’re getting our fair share of the federal dollars and all of our delegates are fighting for us.”

Rase said the channel is “the big driver of most projects that are coming to town.”

He said the port and the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District are focused on getting a steady funding for the channel.

“Everything is kind of hodge-podge right now,” he said. “You try to get it out of this budget and try to get it out of that budget, and you’ve got to go to Washington, you’ve got to fight here, you’ve got to fight there. Even the state has trouble funding their channel. We’re trying to get some equal footing with that and all of our interest is on getting steady funding and we’re all for anything that gets that particular piece of the puzzle for us.”

Marsh creation

Since 2016, the port has created 3,338 acres of marsh using dredged material.

“Most people don’t realize the port does this, but we do,” he said.

One of the more visible projects is 150 acres of wetlands created near the Interstate 210 bridge. He said the port partnered with Axiall in 2015 to provide 302,820 cubic yards of dredged material to assist in the creation of acreage visible from the bridge.

In 2017, the port implemented a marsh creation program to provide dredge material capacity options other than federal Army Corps of Engineers placement areas. Four sites are targeted now along the ship channel; one site is permitted and another permit is pending.

Rase said the sites provide 2 million cubic yards of capacity to create 434 acres of wetlands.

“We’re going in and taking four sites that have state-water bottoms but they only have a small amount of water on them where the actual land is eroding away,” he said. “We budgeted about $4 million to go out and try to create a marsh area on each of those sites.”

He said the marsh creation will give cubic yards of dredging for industry to put into.


Rase said the port recently donated $1.5 million toward Mayor Nic Hunter’s proposed Port Wonder project on the lakefront, a $20 million-plus development that will include an educational and entertainment facility designed to attract visitors to Lake Charles. The facility will house the Children’s Museum of Lake Charles and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Science Center and Educational Complex.

The port also secured construction of the Cove Lane interchange, helped fund extended operating hours at the Salt Water Barrier, is a partner in creating a firearms training range for law enforcement personnel, and awards scholarship in STEM education to McNeese State University and Sowela Technical Community College.

The port also sent 1,100 utility trucks to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

“We’re tied pretty deep into the community,” Rase said.

Rice Cook-Off 2018 Winners

Posted on: September 21st, 2018

September is National Rice Month, and in celebration, the Calcasieu-Cameron Rice Growers sponsored the 21st Annual Rice Cook Off September 19, 2018, at the Port of Lake Charles. The Port of Lake Charles hosted the event and was the sponsor of the awards luncheon. Family and Consumer Science students from fifteen area middle schools and high schools participated in the event.

First place for the “Best Dish” category went to T’Niya Williams (Crawfish Rice) of Westlake High School, 2nd place went to Makenzie Yentzen (Rice Berry Pie) of Moss Bluff Middle School, 3rd place was awarded to Kayleigh Conner (Spicy Shrimp Casserole) of Hackberry High School, and “Most Heart Healthy” dish went to Gweneth Ardoin (Heart Healthy Pineapple) of Iowa High School. Farmers Rice Milling Co., Inc. sponsored rice cookers for each contestant.

The production, milling and exporting of rice has a major economic affect on Southwest Louisiana, and the education of our students in Family and Consumer Sciences is important in combating health, nutrition and family issues that are major problems for our community.



Site Selection Magazine Boasts SWLA

Posted on: March 23rd, 2018

Experts who track the long-term economic growth of Southwest Louisiana are running out of superlatives to describe the record-setting pace of Lake Charles and the surrounding region.

When noted economist Dr. Loren C. Scott prepared his annual Louisiana Economic Outlook and presented it in October 2017, he wrote this about the region that encompasses Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes:

“Performance of the Lake Charles economy over the past four years reminds the author of that great race in the 1973 Belmont Stakes won by Secretariat by 31 lengths. Like Secretariat, Lake Charles is far out in front of all the other MSAs in the state and is one of — if not the — fastest-growing MSAs in the nation.”

It’s fitting that Scott compared Southwest Louisiana to Secretariat, because the economic performance numbers of this region of 300,000 people are staggering and unprecedented.

According to Scott, the region has been the fastest-growing metro area in the state for four consecutive years, adding 20,500 jobs and expanding by a remarkable 5.1 percent a year. “In 40 years of monitoring the Louisiana economy, we have never seen back-to-back job performances like that in any MSA in the state,” Scott wrote in his report.

The primary source of this growth is $43.3 billion in industrial plant projects and other facilities that are under construction, along with another $65.4 billion in projects that are in various stages of approval. Altogether, by 2022, Southwest Louisiana could see a grand total of $108.7 billion in construction completed and open for business.

“I keep up with about nine other states in the Southeast,” says Scott. “The announcements in the Lake Charles area are probably 25 times larger than any of these other states.”

A Billion Here, a Billion There …

Petrochemical plants and LNG projects are primarily responsible for these historic numbers. They include Cheniere Energy’s $20-billion, 6-train LNG export plant called Sabine Pass LNG; Sempra’s Cameron LNG project, which is also a $20-billion investment; and Sasol’s $11-billion ethane cracker and derivatives complex in Westlake.

Other large projects include a $3-billion Lotte Chemical investment in a world-scale ethane cracker and ethylene derivates complex; Entergy’s $187-million transmission project and $872-million electricity generation plant in Westlake; and G2X Energy’s $1.6-billion investment into its Big Lake Fuels gas-to-liquid project.

The Port of Lake Charles is the 13th-largest port in the US by cargo volume. Planned projects that have yet to be cleared for construction include a $14.5-billion investment by Driftwood LNG; an $11-billion investment by G2 LNG; Lake Charles Methanol’s $3.8-billion investment to take carbon captured from enhanced oil recovery and convert it to natural gas; an LNG export terminal by Lake Charles LNG that will cost $11 billion; Monkey Island LNG’s $6.5-billion, 6-train LNG export terminal; a $4.35-billion export facility at the Port of Lake Charles by Magnolia LNG; and a $4.25-billion LNG export terminal by Venture Global.

“Some 15,000 industrial construction workers are in that area right now,” says Scott. “We expect to see a lull in 2018 as a number of these projects finish up, but industrial construction employment will pick back up again in 2019 when these LNG projects that have not started up yet are cleared for construction. Lake Charles is the hotbed in the US for LNG projects.”

George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, says that industrial investors select the region because it makes a concerted effort to invest in four areas: building a quality workforce; creating large sites that are ready for industrial development; improving regional transportation assets; and adding amenities to ensure a high quality of life.

“Our focus has always been on quality, but now we are taking it to the next level in these four principal areas,” he notes. “We have a record 130,000 people working in our region right now, and that means that more people are moving here to find good-paying jobs. We know we must continually reinvest into our core assets if we are to maintain this growth.”

The Educators in Chief

The first task — building a quality a workforce — rests primarily in the hands of the major higher education institutions serving the region: McNeese State University and SOWELA Technical Community College.

Dr. Daryl Burckel, president of McNeese State, says the 8,000-student university has a distinct role in workforce development.

“We prepare the engineers, the professionals who enter the workforce and work with the contractors that support these industry operations,” he says. “We also train the support services — healthcare workers, accountants, financial services professionals, etc. We prepare the chemists, scientists and biologists who work at the plants. We prepare students to go into medical school and dental school. We equip others to become teachers in the region.”

“I keep up with about nine other states in the Southeast. The announcements in the Lake Charles area are probably 25 times larger than any of these other states.”

— Dr. Loren Scott, economist and author of the Annual Louisiana Economic Outlook

McNeese collaborates with SOWELA to make sure that incoming technical college graduates “have a seamless transition to continue their education. More than two-thirds of all jobs in the future are going to require more than a high school degree. They will require some level of college or professional certification.”

Burckel points that every additional year of education post-high school adds $17,000 to regional GDP.

McNeese also supports entrepreneurship in the community, he notes. “At our SEED Center, an entrepreneur came in and developed an algorithm for a program called Waitr. This food delivery and carry-out app is now growing exponentially across the country.”

Dr. Neil Aspinwall, chancellor of 4,000-student SOWELA, says that his technical community college is constantly upgrading to serve the needs of the many large employers in the rapidly growing LNG and petrochemical field in Southwest Louisiana.

“We opened our new $20-million SOWELA Training Center at Chennault International Airport last year,” he says. “Sasol and other employers are using the center to train their workers. We have flex lab space where they can set up training modules. Industries need customized training such as pipe welding. We also expanded our process technology program and added programs for machinist and pipe-fitting training.”

More than $62 million has been invested into new facilities and upgrades at SOWELA over the last five years, Aspinwall says. “This has been a busy time at SOWELA. Our enrollment continues to grow. Industries are contributing scholarship funds. Dual enrollment is growing, particularly as we try to push aviation and industrial process technology down into the high schools.”

A Place to Call Home

As demand for new workers accelerates throughout the region, so does the need for sites. Gus Fontenot, economic development project coordinator for the Southwest Louisiana Alliance, says his organization is upping its game in that department as well.

“When a business is looking to locate, if we can show them a certified site, that means a lot of due diligence has been done on the site already,” he says. “It deals with environmental issues, pipeline rights of way, etc. We identify all potential obstacles and remedies.”

The region currently lists eight certified sites that are available for development, says Fontenot. “They range from 24 acres up to a 1,188-acre mega-site — and we are looking to add up to four new certified sites in 2018.”

One of the most promising certified sites is the Beauregard Airport Industrial Site near DeRidder, notes Fontenot. “This is an 1,188-acre site that has a lot of advantages. It offers access to rail and a four-lane highway, and the workforce for a sizable industry is there.”

Another attractive site, he says, is T.O. Allen Industrial Park on Interstate 10 in Jeff Davis Parish. “It has dual rail service and is within 20 miles of the Port of Lake Charles. It covers 562 acres of developable land, and it is ideal for a distribution center.”

Lacassine Industrial Park, meanwhile, has 750 acres with rail service and is just 10 miles from Chennault Airport.

The Channels of Commerce

Anchoring the transportation infrastructure of Southwest Louisiana’s record-breaking investment pace is the Port of Lake Charles, the 13th-largest port in the US by cargo volume.

“We are estimated to be ranked in the top eight once all these new projects come on board by 2019,” Port Director Bill Rase says. “As energy ports go, we are ranked 12th largest in energy shipping. We will become the No. 2 exporter of LNG in the world once these new projects come on line. And Forbes just reported that the Port of Lake Charles is the seventh-most likely port to take center stage soon.”

With many of the large LNG and petrochemical projects located on or near port property, the Port of Lake Charles is also one of the busiest construction zones in the world these days. “About 7,000 to 8,000 construction workers come on site every day to work on these projects,” says Rase. “And we are not at peak employment yet. That will happen in 2019 or 2020. Between 2021 and 2023, the demand for LNG will be higher than production. That’s when you will begin to see all of these massive LNG expansions to try to match that curve.”

Plenty of port tenants are ramping up to meet this expected surge in demand as well. “Southern Ionics, IFG Grain Elevator and G2 Ocean are all growing here,” Rase says.

Infrastructure upgrades at the port this year include $12 million to refurbish City Docks 2 and 3, he adds. “Plus, we will need to build a dock to ship methanol. That will be a $70-million investment by the port, plus another $40 million by Lake Charles Methanol.”

Two airports also play a significant role in the regional economy: Chennault International Airport and Lake Charles Regional Airport.

Randy Robb, executive director of the Chennault International Airport Authority, says that more than 1,500 people work on airport property every day for various employers.

“We have an $80-million payroll and a $300-million annual economic impact on the region,” he says. “Once we sign a public-private partnership agreement with a developer, we will double our workforce.”

Northrop Grumman employs 1,200 people working on the E-8 Joint STARS program and other operations at Chennault, “and we just started construction on a $3.5-million building for Louisiana Millworks,” Robb says. “We are adding more paint facilities, and we are upgrading all our hangars. We refurbished the control tower, and we have started the process to create an air cargo complex. It looks like we will be attracting an air cargo company.”

Less flashy, but no less important, is Lake Charles Regional Airport, which serves about 120,000 passengers a year and has 2,000 acres.

“We’re working to certify a 135-acre tract with the Southwest Louisiana Alliance,” Airport Manager Heath Allen says. “We should see an increase in business in 2018. United will go to a full schedule of 50-seat jets, and American will go to 70-seat jets. United offers direct service to Houston, and American goes to Dallas.”

The airport recently spent $3 million to convert its lighting on taxiways and the runway to LED, and another $6 million on fencing.

Era Helicopters, which provides service to offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, employs 250 people at the airport, notes Allen.

“They are the longest serving US helicopter transport provider,” he says. “We are their operational headquarters. All training and heavy maintenance are done here. About 30 companies operate here. Around $220 million is our annual economic impact on the state. That’s a good return on investment.”

Selling Hometown Charm

Amanda White, vice president of communications and special projects for the Southwest Louisiana Alliance, says that community leaders know the value of reinvestment.

“We started in 2014 with the idea of making big changes in small steps,” she says. “After a few minor projects at the beginning, our group raised money for the Lake Charles Downtown Dog park in 2016.” A Choose Local campaign is currently in the works.

Tobie Hodgkins, chair of the board of the Southwest Louisiana Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance, says the quality-of-life enhancements are working.

“As a lifelong resident, I’ve seen this community change a lot,” she says. “When I was growing up, downtown Lake Charles was not an option if you were looking for a fun place to see and do things. Now, there is not a month that does not have a special event downtown.”


Forbes Mentions Port of Lake Charles

Posted on: December 15th, 2017

2017 will go down as a good year for U.S. trade growth, but that’s coming on the heels of a rarity — two successive years of decline, something that had only happened once before in at least a quarter century.

Here is a look at the 10 U.S. seaports where exports have grown the most this year, with the top five outbound shipments for each. I will follow in the coming days with a look at the top airports and the top border crossings for exports and then tackle the imports for all three.

All told, there are more than 450 of these “ports” for international goods to enter and exit the United States. While total U.S. exports are up 6.13% this year, exports by ocean are up 10.98%. Air cargo trade, whether in the belly of passenger planes or on so-called freighters, is up 6.11% and border crossings, whether via truck, rail or pipeline, is up 2.02%. Ocean trade, by value, makes up 33.68 percent of all U.S. exports.

On the import side, overall U.S. imports are up 6.75% while ocean-borne shipments are up 7.51%. The value of air cargo is up 6.14% while border trade is up 6.08%. On the import side, 46.20% of all U.S. trade is via ship. All of the data is based on analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, which is through October, as analyzed by the company where I serve as president, WorldCity.

Eight of the 10 ports with the greatest increase in the value of their exports this year can attribute those gains to rebounding prices in the energy sector — just as they could attribute their losses in recent years to that same sector — and, to a lesser extent, the chemical industry. Four of the top 10 are in Texas and four are in Louisiana.

1. Topping the list is Port Houston, which has seen the value of trade attributed to the port increase $6.16 billion. Here’s a look at the top five exports:

Gasoline and other refined petroleum products rose 27.05% compared to last year to $14.76 billion.
LNG, or petroleum-based gases 47.73% to $6.44 billion.
Plastics rose 2.68% to $2.57 billion.
Oil rose 137.55% to $2.05 billion.
Ethers and related exports rose 16.34% to $1.73 billion.

2. Exports from the Port of Corpus Christi have grown the second most this year, up $4.69 billion. It’s top five exports:

Gasoline rose 9.05% to $5.4 billion.
Oil rose 355.48% to $4.52 billion.
Halogenated derivatives of hydrocarbons rose 24.35% to $491.65 million.
Grain sorghum rose 23.73% to $329.9 million.
Cyclic hydrocarbons rose 18.59% to $322.51 million.

3. Exports from Beaumont, Texas have increased $3.16 billion. Its top five exports thus far in 2017:

Oil rose 309.61% to $2.95 billion.
Gasoline rose 21.58% to $2.54 billion.
LNG, etc., rose 81.2% to $1.42 billion.
Ethers, etc., fell 6.19% to $303.71 million.
Cyclic hydrocarbons fell 1.66% to $136.17 million.

4. Exports from the Port of Los Angeles have increased $2.53 billion — and it doesn’t have to do with the energy sector:

Cotton rose 73.39% to $1.49 billion.
Frozen beef rose 72.95% to $894.06 million.
Motor vehicle parts rose 19.19% to $872.45 million.
Almonds and similar nuts rose 23.42% to $841.5 million.
Motor vehicles for transporting people rose 14.13% to $594.2 million.

5. Exports from the Southern Louisiana ports around Gramercy have increased $2.32 billion. It is an oil story:

Soybeans fell 2.51% to $3.98 billion.
Gasoline rose 2.87% to $3.26 billion.
Oil rose 886.35% to $1.85 billion.
Corn rose 5.96% to $1.53 billion.
Coal, briquettes rose 146.61% to $325.52 million.

6. The Port of New Orleans is sixth on the list, its exports up $2.27 billion. Its top five exports:

Gasoline rose 47.71% to $5.81 billion.
Soybeans fell 7.63% to $3.82 billion.
Civilian aircraft and parts rose 16.85% to $3.51 billion.
Computer chips fell 28.29% to $2.5 billion.
Corn fell 12.98% to $2.41 billion.

7. Exports from Lake Charles, La., have increased $1.99 billion through October. Its growth is largely related to LNG, or liquid natural gas:

Gasoline rose 25.25% to $2.43 billion.
LNG, etc., rose 236.66% to $1.83 billion.
Sodium or potassium hydroxide or peroxide rose 75.03% to $173.66 million.
Petroleum products rose 25.71% to $157.84 million.
Cyclic hydrocarbons fell 7.22% to $138.23 million.

8. Exports from Baton Rouge, La., are up $1.78 billion, with soybeans joining gasoline and other refined petroleum products as a big gainer:

Gasoline rose 70.19% to $1.95 billion.
Soybeans rose 35.27% to $1.37 billion.
Corn rose 9.55% to $510.05 million.
Soybean oilcake, other solid residue, rose 44.04% to $393.46 million.
Acyclic alcohols rose 24.64% to $309.33 million.

9. The Port of Savannah is the second port on the list not tied to the energy sector, the other being the Port of Los Angeles. Savannah’s exports have increased $1.55 billion this year, with outbound shipments of cotton leading the way:

Motor vehicles for transporting people fell 1.28% to $1.45 billion.
Chemical wood pulp, fell 2.24 percent compared to last year to $1.11 billion.
Civilian aircraft, parts fell 15.73 percent compared to last year to $930.82 million.
Cotton rose 55.86% to $909.3 million.
Misc. uncoated kraft paper, paperboard rose 16.35% to $786.09 million.

10. Freeport’s exports have increased $1.48 billion in 2017, with the top five exports:

LNG, etc. have totaled $1.21 billion. The previous year, there were no exports in this category.
Motor vehicles for transporting people fell 30.19% to $797.74 million.
Oil rose 285.15% to $761.09 million.
Sodium or potassium hydroxide or peroxide rose 49.15% to $260.88 million.
Polyethers, epoxides and polyesters fell 17.7% to $125.07 million.
Seven of these 10 are also the fastest-growing major seaports, by percentage gain. Lake Charles, Beaumont and Corpus Christi all grew more than 60% through the first 10 months of the year. Freeport’s exports are up 57.90% while Baton Rouge is up more than 40%.

Krielow and Lorenzi Join Port Board Of Commissioners

Posted on: October 30th, 2017

Carl Krielow and Thomas Lorenzi have been appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to the Board of Commissioners of the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District, which operates the Port of Lake Charles.

An attorney with Lorenzi & Barnatt, Lorenzi was named as the 2007 Distinguished Attorney by the Louisiana Bar Foundation and was the recipient of the David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana State Bar Association. He has served as president and board member for various state and local professional associations throughout his legal career.

Krielow has over 35 years of experience in the construction, real estate and agricultural industries, and he manages commercial real estate interests and agricultural operations involved in crop production. Krielow is a member of the Louisiana Independent Rice Producers Association and the U.S. Rice Producers Association.