Port of Lake Charles makes way for 1,000 jobs

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The  Port of lake Charles said 1,000 new jobs are coming to Lake Charles. The Port of Lake Charles, along with BP and Dynamic Industries will put at least 1000 people to work. On Wednesday, the port announced a joint effort to clean the response vessels used during the BP oil crisis.

"They are looking to hire as many local jobs as possible. They have to have HAZMAT training. If they run out of those particular individuals, there is even some plans to arrange to have HAZMAT training for those other individuals," said Bill Rase with the Port of Lake Charles.

While jobs are good for the unemployed, and the local economy the Port of Lake Charles said the Coast Guard and the Louisiana DEQ will be on hand to make sure no hazardous contaminants get into the Louisiana waterways. Also, before any vessel reaches Lake Charles they will have gone through two other phases of decontamination.

The following is a news release from The Port of Lake Charles:

LAKE CHARLES, LA - The Port of Lake Charles announced Wednesday a new project immediately locating at the Port's Industrial Canal facilities involving at least 1,000 new jobs. Vessel cleaning work will begin next week.

The project, undertaken by the Port, in conjunction with British Petroleum (BP) and Dynamic Industries, Inc. (DII) of Lafayette, will provide a state of the art facility for the final cleaning of one of the largest peacetime marine fleets ever assembled. The vessels to be processed were employed as part of the massive response efforts for the Deepwater Horizon spill. The Port of Lake Charles site has been selected to serve as one of several work sites and the project will have an immediate positive economic impact on the area, including hiring personnel and spending at local suppliers, service providers,  restaurants, and hotels.

Three large-scale, professional decontamination sites have been established to handle the larger vessels (upward of 75'). Sites in Lake Charles, as well as Port Fourchon, LA. and Pascagoula, MS.,  will perform the last stage of cleaning for the response fleet.

According to a local BP representative, Dave Kinnaird, "The decision was made to locate at the Port of Lake Charles based on the Port's impressive turning basin facility at the Industrial Canal combined with the availability in the region of the large, skilled workforce needed for this project. The Lake Charles area presents an impressive collection of resources and we look forward to working with the local community."

The site will be operated by Louisiana based DII and safety will be of the highest priority at the project site. Workers possessing HAZWOPER training are needed. Once the supply of already trained workers is exhausted, training will be offered as part of employment. Interested persons are asked to apply for jobs in person in Building B at Gate One of the DII yard, located at 3744 Henry Pugh Blvd located near Lincoln Road and Big Lake Road in South Lake Charles.

An estimated six to eight million man-hours of work will be performed at the Lake Charles site before the project concludes. Operations at the site will take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over the next 3 to 6 months.

Work at the site will consist of doing a final (Stage III) detailed cleaning of the vessels' hulls, superstructures, decks, and confined spaces. Before coming to the Port's facilities vessels have undergone two levels of decontamination (Stage I and Stage II) prior to entering the channel. Each vessel has passed a Coast Guard inspection and received a certification as being properly clean to get underway before being allowed into the channel.

Ample measures will be taken in order to protect the environment.  All aspects of the EPA and LA DEQ approved waste management plan will be followed. BP and DII are upgrading the sanitary facilities at the site which will give make the Port's site more attractive for future possible projects.

The Port, in conjunction with BP, the United States Coast Guard, DII,  and the Lake Charles Pilots, Inc. are working together to ensure that navigation of the channel will not be impaired.

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