Business is good at the Port of Lake Charles. In their first meeting of 2012 board members were given an update on profits and earnings from 2011. According to Port of Lake Charles Director of Finance Richert Self the Port had a very good year.
"When looking at a preliminary audit our operating revenue was $36,400,000. Since 2003 our operating revenue has doubled," said Self. "Part of the reason our revenues were up was due to increased cargo and a $2,500,000 negotiated settlement with Pinnacle regarding an advance on rent pertaining to the gaming license they surrendered."
In 2011 the Port of Lake Charles also paid off debt worth $6,000,000 in outstanding bonds.
Lake Charles Port Director Bill Rase expects to keep on this track for 2012.
"We expect it to look good, but we are probably expecting it to level off somewhat. We've had two very strong years so we are looking to maintain what we have this coming year," said Rase. "It's going to be a busy year. We expect several projects to get started including Mojito Pointe and Leucadia project. Also the short-line railroad facility is expected to happen because the grain elevator with the IFG project is underway. That project should take between 18 months and two years to complete."
With those new projects they hope to increase growth and business. At Monday night's meeting the board also approved a new agreement for terminal services with the Lake Charles Stevedores, LLC.
"That covers our bagging business - both commercial and USAID. Under the new agreement out hopes is that we can improve the production that will come out of the facility, thus increasing our chances on our bids with shippers," said Rase.
Tom Flannigan, President of the Lake Charles Stevedores said he is pleased an agreement was made and looks forward to the continued partnership with the Port of Lake Charles.
"This agreement gives us an opportunity to build on the progress that has been made over the last four and half years. Both sides sat down in a very long process in good faith and the ultimate goal was to make things better. I believe that has been accomplished," said Flannigan. "I want to thank the staff for a good hard negotiation. We did not get everything we wanted but we are happy with it."