Port grant will grow Globalplex

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 28, 2004

By SUE ELLEN ROSS – Staff Reporter

RESERVE – The Port of South Louisiana already possesses many impressive credentials.

It is the third largest port (total tonnage handled) in the world, and some of the most prestigious names in industry operate cargo transfer terminals and manufacturing plants.

And thanks to a $900,000 Economic Development Award presented on Wednesday, the PSL will continue to grow, focusing on attracting new business and industries.

An outside tent was set up on the grounds of the Globalplex Intermodal Terminal for the occasion, allowing visitors to observe the daily operations at the terminal.

Joseph Accardo Jr., executive director of the PSL, opened the ceremony by outlining a brief history of the PSL and how it has developed over the years.

He cited such facts as 47 public and private terminals, 10 grain facilities, and 27 sub zones are located within the port’s 54-mile district

“We are definitely partners in economic development throughout the port and the state,” he said.

William H. Lash, III U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Compliance (MAC,) presented the traditional over-sized check to PSL and local government officials.

“On behalf of President Bush and the Department of Commerce, I am delighted to be here today,” Lash told the crowd. “This port is an important part of our economy. The numbers here are impressive.”

He added that the grant reflects the President’s commitment for an open market in American companies.

The grant will be used to construct a new rail spur for the port facility. It will add approximately one mile of track, and connect the Canadian National/Illinois Central and the Kansas City Southern Railroad at the northern end of the 335-acre industrial park.

The EDA grant will fund a portion of the $1.35 million project that is expected to attract an estimated $56 million in private sector investments, and also create 200 jobs.

The infrastructure project is one of a series of improvements developed to create a world-class complex for manufacturing and shipping operations.

Current construction includes a new 72,000 square foot warehouse/transit shed to handle various cargo movement by rail and truck simultaneously.