LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's been two years since a study was done looking at the economic growth the Calcasieu Ship Channel could generate in our area.
The numbers are looking even better as economists came back to Lake Charles Thursday night with updated information.
Two years ago CSRS and Taimerica brought good news about the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
So what's changed since that last meeting?
"The economic impact the state is going to (have, will) be equivalent to having a new Alexandria economy or almost as large as having a new Monroe economy," said Taimerica president, Dr. Ed Bee.
Bee explains it's all part of the large changes with the petrochemical industry and another game changer--LNG.
"LNG is probably going to put you in an unprecedented position," said Bee. "You probably never seen the kind of economic growth in the next six to seven years in this region that you are going to see."
Bee also explained that using domestic crude oil in Lake Charles refineries is a cost advantage in the global market.
Jobs have increased as well. Two years ago the study predicted another 9,000 jobs would be added by 2023, now they're saying we can expect 10,700.
The channel was predicted to generate $10 billion by 2023, but that too has jumped to $10.7 billion.
While things are looking good, one issue that could slow it down is the need to dredge the channel.
"If you don't do it and the channel starts to silt up well then you have reduced draft in the channel, and that affects the economic viability of the operations that are here," said Bee.
The Port of Lake Charles continues to fight for dredging money each year from the government. If the funding comes through, major growth can be expected at the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
"The number suggests that the economy is going to grow between now and 2023," said Bee.
To read a copy of the updated economic impact study, click HERE.