Port to use bond money for improvements at City Docks and Termin - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Port to use bond money for improvements at City Docks and Terminal 1

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The State Bond Commission has given the go ahead for the Port of Lake Charles to issue up to $100 million in revenue bonds. The bonds will be paid back through money coming into the port.

The port has been growing and expanding well over the last 10 years -- and is now able to pour income back into itself to continue to grow. Revenue bonds will be issued to make needed improvements -- including major renovations to facilities at the City Docks off Sallier, as general counsel, Mike Dees, explains.

"More docks, improve our docks. One of the big projects is dock one which was one of the first projects built at the port in the 30s, late twenties. It, of course, needs rehabilitation so that's a $17 million job to do that," said Dees.

Other improvements will be made west of the river at Bulk Terminal 1, where the addition of two docks will triple their ability to accommodate vessels. That's something that is needed with expected economic development.

"The additional docks will allow us to dock more vessels at the facility and will naturally increase our tonnage that we load either in or out of the bulk terminal," said Dees.

They're also improving the port's former administration building to be used by U.S. Homeland Security. And there will be projects associated with Lake Charles Clean Energy.

"That's the $2.5 billion facility that will take petroleum coke and burn it cleanly and produce methanol along with hydrogen and some other products," explains Dees.

Lake Charles Clean Energy was first called Lake Charles Co-gen and it's owned by Leucadia. Dees said it will just about double cargo at BT1.

"There will be a huge amount of construction jobs generated both by our projects and Lake Charles Clean energy. In addition, the port will need to hire probably sixty to 80 new employees to accommodate growth at the Bulk Terminal and it's operations," said Dees.

Plus, he said Clean Energy expects to have 150 new permanent jobs likely to pay between $100,000 and $150,000.

Since the bonds will be paid off with port revenues, there will be no property tax associated with the bond issue.

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