Pin Oak in Mt. Airy sold for $450M; most jobs to be retained

Published 12:08 am Saturday, September 29, 2018

MT. AIRY — Most of Pin Oak Terminals 70-plus on-site jobs will be maintained following this week’s $450 million sale to MPLX LP, according to Chuck Rice, director of public and state government affairs for parent corporation Marathon Petroleum Company.

The Mt. Airy tank farm will continue to store crude oil, refined petroleum products, chemicals and other liquids, Rice said, adding the acquisition brings room for expansion that could spur new jobs for River Parishes residents.

The terminal, stationed on 431 acres of land near the St. John the Baptist-St. James Parish line, was formally owned by Pin Oak Holdings, LLC since its 2017 opening.

At its peak, a 14-month construction period employed approximately 500 people, 75 percent of whom were River Parishes residents.

More contracted work could be on its way, according to Rice.

A 120,000 barrel-per-day dock is in operation at the facility, and MPLX is permitted to double efficiency with the construction of a second 120,000 barrel-per-day dock.

Pin Oak Terminals’ four million barrels of storage capacity has the capability to expand to 10 million barrels of storage, presenting an opportunity for more business with third-party industries, according to an MPLX release.

Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin said he supports the acquisition and its ability to drive economic development along the Mississippi River.

“As far as the Port’s relationship with Pin Oak Terminals, nothing really changes,” Aucoin said.

“Agreements we have with Pin Oak will transfer to the new company. This was a good transaction that will make both companies stronger, and that can only be a good thing for the Port.”

Formed in 2012 as a master limited partnership to Marathon, MPLX LC seeks to operate, develop and acquire midstream energy infrastructure.

Accessibility and proximity to nearby chemical plants influenced the purchase, Rice said.

“There are several pipelines and rail lines that run across the property,” Rice said. “That terminal handles finished product like gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel and products ready to go to market. With that kind of location between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, with access to different pipelines and rail yards, it gives us a variety of different directions to go.”

Pin Oak Terminals will retain an economic interest in MPLX’s Mt. Airy Terminal, according to Rice.

Chief Executive Director Mike Reed did not agree to a phone interview as of press time Friday morning.

Reed released a statement saying, “Our team is very proud to have built a premier storage and logistics facility in Louisiana, and this transaction further validates our development strategy and ability to execute.”

Pin Oak Terminals was conceived by Chief Administrative Executive Danny Guidry 16 years ago, when a bolt of inspiration struck during a lunch meeting at Nobile’s in Gramercy.

Guidry drew up a plan on a napkin and later presented his idea to former Parish President Nickie Monica.

According to a release, Pin Oak Holdings, LLC recently commenced construction of a new liquid bulk export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Pin Oak Terminals Chief Administrative Officer Danny Guidry, left, receives a congratulatory plaque from St. John the Baptist Parish Natalie Robottom in August 2017.