Port gets operator change

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Managing Editor

LAPLACE – The Port of South Louisiana now has a single operator, following years of shifts in management for the largest-tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere.

Following action Tuesday by the port commission, former co-operator Associated Terminals has contracted with the Port to operate and manage the facility at least through 2016, if the company exercises its contractural options.

Originally in January 2001, the port was managed by International Ship Service, which left several

(See Port, Page 12A)

(From Page 1A)

years ago, and was replaced by a partnership with Stevedoring Service of America, along with Associated Terminals.

Recently, SSA signed over their obligations with Cooper T Smith, which has likewise pulled out of the Port.

The initial term of the contract continues through January 2007 with two 3-year options. Annual base rent starts at $250,000 and increases to $300,000 by the last term.

Associated Terminals, with headquarters on River Road in Reserve, is licensed to operate the general cargo dock with its gantry cranes, the bulk storage transit shed, Building 3 and the new Transit Shed, upon its completion.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the port commission approved the lowest of three bids for construction of the transit shed rail spur from Civil Construction at $263,500.

Economic development director Linda Prudhomme reported word of a possible new $50-70 million tank farm project and a possible manufacturing facility which would make use of the old Baker-Heritage building and also the St. John Airport.

A survey is also under way for potential customers of a ship-lift. Prudhomme said response so far has been “very positive.” Construction of the facility, which would likely include barge repair, could make use of Port Priority Trust Fund money.

Another company has also met with St. Charles Parish officials, Prudhomme said, about relocating their main office to that parish. The president and chief financial officer of that company, she said, have already been here for meetings.

Executive Director Joseph Accardo Jr. reported to the commission that the new security vessel for the port, now under construction in Arkansas, should be ready for delivery in June.

Also, Accardo said, a new photo-identification badge system is now in effect at Globalplex.

The $5.7 million transit shed project, Accardo continued, is 83 percent completed. However, he added, 93 percent of the allotted contract time with Southern Industrial Construction of Rayville has elapsed. “That could be a problem,” he said.