Continued from Mid-Gulf ports enhancing infrastructure while attracting new commercial activity (2 of 3)

The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is installing a new $5.5 million deepwater dock fendering system to enhance berthing capabilities at general cargo facilities
The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is installing a new $5.5 million deepwater dock fendering system to enhance berthing capabilities at general cargo facilities

Port of Greater Baton Rouge

Handling a record of more than 9.6 million cargo tons at its public facilities in 2015 and with a total of 69.1 million tons handled within its jurisdiction, the Port of Greater Baton Rouge has moved up a notch to No. 8 among U.S. ports as measured by total tonnage throughput.

The port recently finished $9.5 million in improvements to its rail system, bettering links for agricultural and petrochemical shippers, and is looking to complete in the coming year a $5.5 million deepwater dock fendering system at its general cargo docks on the Mississippi River.

Genesis Energy LP is preparing to bring online later this year a $150 million, 90-acre crude oil, intermediates and refined products import/export terminal at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, while the port and export grain terminal operator Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC continue improvements to the grain elevator, in anticipation of another solid year for grain exports. A $5.1 million grain dock access improvement project was accomplished in 2015.

Port Fourchon

Expansion continues at the Greater Lafourche Port Commission’s Port Fourchon, even at a time when low oil prices have impacted users of the port and their customers. Indeed, recognizing the crunch energy-related firms are in, the port board has stepped in to share the burden, extending through the end of 2016 reductions of 20 percent in basic land rental rates at Port Fourchon.

Among endeavors moving forward is the project to add 300-plus acres to the Slip C area, where operations already in place include those of Bollinger Shipyards, oil and gas waste solutions provider Ecoserv and oilfield services company Schlumberger Ltd. In addition, initial bucket dredging has been done for development of Slip D, where yet another 300 acres are to be developed along 10,000 linear feet of waterfront.

Currently under study is a plan to take Port Fourchon’s main channel depth, now at as few as 27 feet, to as many as 50 feet, with 30-foot depths in areas of northward expansion.

Port of Morgan City

At the intersection of the Atchafalaya River and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in the Louisiana Oil and Gas Port Corridor, the Port of Morgan City is actively working to resolve unprecedented shoaling issues caused by flooding in late 2015 and early 2016. With funds from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, dredging is taking place to return the river channel to its project depth of 20 feet in areas where draft has been reduced to as few as 9.5 feet in some places.

In January, the hurricane- and flood-resistant, two-level Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District Emergency Operations Center entered service at the port, and it immediately became the hub of cooperative efforts to stave off flooding of area homes and businesses. With federal port security grant funding, the center is home to a regional collaborative network promoting integrated awareness, communications, command and control.

Port of Lake Charles

Oversized project cargo is discharged from a ship to a specialized truck trailer at the Port of Lake Charles in Southwest Louisiana
Oversized project cargo is discharged from a ship to a specialized truck trailer at the Port of Lake Charles in Southwest Louisiana

Oversized project cargo is discharged from a ship to a specialized truck trailer at the

Port of Lake Charles in Southwest LouisianaThe Port of Lake Charles, encompassing 203 square miles along the Calcasieu River Ship Channel in Southwest Louisiana, has over the past few years attracted private-sector investments totaling more than $81 billion from such companies as Lake Charles LNG, Cameron LNG, Sasol USA, Big Lake Energy, Magnolia LNG, Cheniere Energy and Golden Nugget Casino.

As the Port of Lake Charles continues what officials describe as a 10-year renaissance, recent improvements to cargo-handling capacity and efficiencies include a double-loop rail track system that allows 120-car unit trains, a new ship unloader and an enhanced front gate and plaza.

IFG Port Holdings LLC last year brought online at the Port of Lake Charles a $60 million export grain terminal, served by UP Railroad, capable of handling Louisiana rice, wheat, corn, soybeans and dried distiller’s grain.