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West Calcasieu Port Barge Basin Dredge Work Completed

SULPHUR, La, August. 24, 2018 — West Calcasieu Port officials announced today that dredging operations in the port’s west barge basin were completed today and that all tenant operations in the basin have returned to full operations.

Coastal Dredging of Hammond, La., was the contractor on the $1.3 million maintenance dredging project that removed more than 140,000 cubic yards of spoils over a 10-week period.  The port’s barge basin depth was returned to a minus-10 feet, and the spoils were relocated into the ports federally mandated spoils reception area located nearby on port property.

“It has been more than eight years since the port’s barge basin was last serviced, and over that extended period of time, the basin attracts a considerable amount of soil due to constantly moving currents along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway where the port is located,” said Lynn Hohensee, port director.

“Periodic dredging of the basin is needed to keep the 75-90 barge spaces in a safe and operationally sound condition, so that our port tenants can efficiently fleet and service the shallow water barges that daily come in and out of our port fleet,” he added.  “This is especially critical to our support for our port tenants who facilitate barge fleeting and cleaning/repair services for 120-150 barges daily.”

The initial phase of the project focused on increasing the height of the levees surrounding the port’s 39.5-acre spoils reception area, to ensure it could accommodate the additional spoils material.” Hohensee explained. “The new height of our spoils containment area levees is now at 17 feet above sea level.”

He explained that use of the spoils – as in the past dredging operations – has an economic beneficial use, because the port’s long-term strategic plan calls for the spoils area to eventually become a viable development site for future tenant occupancy.

Hohensee said that the West Cal Port and its tenants offer a variety of specialized services that accommodate our regional marine operations community.

“High on that list is commercial shallow-water barge fleeting operations along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway by Devall Towing,” he explained. “Demand for barge fleeting facilities in Southwest Louisiana has grown over the last several years, and all regional economic indicators point to a continuing growth in that demand.

“For that reason,” Hohensee continued, “our port board of commissioners has led the way in applying for the state funding that made this barge maintenance project possible.

“Our expansion project would not have been possible without a $1,044,000 million Port Priority Fund grant awarded to the port by the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development,” he said.

“The Port Priority Fund grant is limited to 90 percent of the construction costs related to the dredging project,” Hohensee explained.  “The port is using internal funding to cover the costs associated with the balance of the construction costs as well as the engineering and permitting costs associated with the project.”

The port’s largest and oldest tenant, Devall Towing, currently operates one of the largest barge fleeting operations along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and the company has seen a marked increase in demand for barge anchorage in Southwest Louisiana.  Also providing barge cleaning/stripping/repair services at the port are River Barge Works and Tubal-Cain Marine Services.

Located 12 miles south of Interstate 10 and just west of Highway 27, the WCP has 7,000 feet of waterfront property on the GIWW.

Current tenant activity includes barge-fleeting operations, marine construction, dry cargo barge cleaning, wet-barge cleaning, diesel engine repair and concrete pumping.

West Calcasieu Port Awards Construction Contract For West Barge Basin Dredging

 

SULPHUR, LA, Feb. 8, 2018 –

The West Calcasieu Port Board of Commissioners voted this week to award the contract for the dredging of the port’s west barge basin to Coastal Dredging Company, Inc. of Hammond, La.

The successful base bid of $1,334,020 was the lowest among six bids received by the port during its competitive public bid process.

“The West Cal Port Board of Commissioners was encouraged to have received such a large number of bid packets for the project,” said Dick Kennison, board president for the West Calcasieu Port. “The commissioners were equally impressed with the quality of the contractors that were interested in the port’s project and spent a considerable amount of time reviewing all of the data and information included in the packets.”

Lynn Hohensee, WCP director, noted that the West Calcasieu Port will work closely with local, state and federal officials to make sure that all dredging operations are in line with regulatory permits for the project and that an aggressive time schedule is followed for the west barge basin dredging.

“The West Cal Port and its tenants offer a variety of specialized services within the marine operations community, and high on that list is commercial shallow-water barge fleeting operations along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway,” he said. “Demand for barge fleeting facilities in Southwest Louisiana has grown over the last several years, and all regional economic indicators point to a continuing growth in that demand.

“For that reason,” he continued, “our port board of commissioners have led the way in securing the necessary state funding support the dredging of our 20-acre barge basin to assure the highest quality conditions for our tenants’ daily operations.”

Hohensee noted that the basin located on the north shore of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway has a capacity to accommodate 75 to 90 barges.

WCP Engineer Chuck Stutes with Sulphur-based Meyer & Associates, Inc. has estimated that approximately 138,000 cubic yards of spoil will be dredged to accommodate dredging of the barge basin.  The depth of the dredging is slated for 12 feet.

The dredged spoils will be used for economic beneficial use.

“The spoils will be piped to the port’s existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-approved 39.5-acre spoils reception area,” Hohensee said.

“Our long-term plan for that area is to use dredge spoils to elevate the dedicated spoils reception site to approximately 20 feet above sea level, at which time, it will become a prime business development site,” he explained.

Hohensee noted that the port’s long-standing tenant, Devall Towing, currently operates one of the largest barge fleeting operations along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and that the company has seen a marked increase in demand for barge anchorage in Southwest Louisiana.

Significant funding support will come from a $1,044,000 million Port Priority Fund grant awarded to the port by the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development.

“The Port Priority Fund grant is restricted to 90 percent of the construction costs related to the expansion project,” Hohensee said.  “The port is using internal funding to cover the costs associated with the balance of the construction costs as well as the engineering and permitting costs associated with the project.”

Located 12 miles south of Interstate 10 and just west of Highway 27, the WCP has 2,500 feet of waterfront property on the GIWW.

Current tenant activity includes barge-fleeting operations, marine construction, wet barge cleaning/stripping, dry cargo barge cleaning and concrete pumping.

 

Port Director Lynn Hohensee: Multi-Task Master

Bulkhead Project Underway at West Cal Port

Hohensee said the $1.6 million project would not have been possible without the Southwest Louisiana delegation’s assistance in securing the grant monies.

bulkheadproject

By Heather Regan-White

The replacement of bulkhead infrastructure is underway this week at the West Calcasieu Port, courtesy of $1,305,000 in capital outlay grant monies from the state.

Port Director Lynn Hohensee told the Daily News in an interview that improvements to the 40-year-old bulkhead on the port’s waterfront along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway are “critical to the port in its efforts as an economic development engine to assist our family of tenants grow their operations, expand their workforce, and increase their investment in our community through a larger tax base.”

Hohensee said the $1.6 million project would not have been possible without the Southwest Louisiana delegation’s assistance in securing the grant monies.

“I also want to acknowledge the strong and dedicated cooperation we received from Rene Becnel, project manager-architect, in Sulphur-native Mark Moses’ Facility Planning and Control office in Baton Rouge,” he said. “His expertise and professionalism made the whole Legislative capital outlay grant-funding process run very smoothly.”

In April, the port awarded the job contract to Orion Marine Group. Engineering support was provided by Sulphur-based Meyer & Associates. Hohensee said it took several months to order and receive necessary supplies before work could begin in August. Completion is expected in early fall, barring weather delays.

Hohensee said that in addition to Devall Towing fleeting operations of more than 100 barges per day, the port’s waterfront is also home to marine construction operations, wet barge cleaning and stripping operations and dry-barge cleaning and repair facilities. He said that Devall Towing anticipates that by 2020, Southwest Louisiana will see its regional demand for barge fleeting space expand to more than 200 barges per day.

“At the West Cal Port, we are doing all we can to help meet that growing demand — not only to provide a place to ‘park’ barges, but also to service them,” said Hohensee. He said the new infrastructure will play another very important role critical to the region’s welfare in enhancing the port’s ability to serve as a “safe harbor” for shallow-water maritime vessels during times of violent tropical weather conditions, including hurricanes.

“The port facilities played a crucial role in assisting marine traffic along the GIWW 11 years ago during Hurricane Rita and again a few years later when Hurricane Ike skirted our coastline but delivered a Category 5 surge into our region,” said Hohensee. “We plan on playing an equally critical role during future challenging weather conditions that will impact the water-borne movement of goods and supplies in Southwest Louisiana.”

West Calcasieu Port Awards Bid for Waterfront Improvement Work

WaterlineSULPHUR, La, (April 4, 2016) – West Calcasieu Port officials announced today that it has awarded a construction contract to Orion Marine Construction, Inc. for $1,589,632.10 for the replacement of bulkheading along the port’s waterfront on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

“The West Cal Port Board of Commissioners was impressed with the strong interest and participation in the highly competitive bidding process on the part of the marine construction industry,” said West Calcasieu Port Director Lynn Hohensee. “Seven bids were received.”

The bids were formally opened during a special port board meeting earlier in March.

“Incorporated in the construction project plan is the replacement of aged, deteriorated bulkhead with new steel bulkhead,” Hohensee explained.

Underscoring the business-case need for the expanded barge basin, Hohensee noted that servicing commercial barge transportation operations along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is a critical component of the port’s operations, and that the port has experienced an increased occupancy rate for its marine services facilities.

West Cal Port Engineer Chuck Stutes of Sulphur-based Meyer & Associates, Inc. has estimated that approximately 300 linear feet of 600-foot length of steel bulkheading will replace aged infrastructure that was installed in the 1970s,

Significant funding support will come from a $1,305,000 Capital Outlay Grant from the State of Louisiana.

Located on 203 acres 12 miles south of Interstate 10 just west of Highway 27, the West Cal Port has 7,000 feet of waterfront property on the GIWW.

Current tenant activity includes barge fleeting operations, dry-cargo barge cleaning, diesel engine repair, maritime construction operations, concrete manufacturing and concrete pumping services.

Tubal-Cain Marine Services opens barge-servicing center at West Cal Port

SULPHUR, La, Jan. 22, 2016 – West Calcasieu Port officials announced this week that Tubal-Cain Marine Services has become the port’s newest tenant.
“Tubal-Cain Marine Services is expanding its operations out of southeast Texas and into southwest Louisiana to meet the growing regional demand for barge cleaning, stripping and maintenance services,” said Dick Kennison, president of the West Calcasieu Port board of commissioners. “And, they will be operating out of the West Calcasieu Port.”

Kennison noted that the port’s board members are proud to lease space at the port to companies that play a strategic role in expanding Southwest Louisiana’s regional economic expansion.
Headquartered in Port Arthur, Texas, Tubal-Cain Marine Services (www.tcmarineservices.com) is one of five family-owned businesses that operate under Tubal-Cain Holdings.

“We are excited to be working with the West Calcasieu Port to bring our services to Southwest Louisiana,” said Eddie Van Huis, President of Tubal-Cain Holdings. “The region is growing aggressively with emphasis on industry, and we want to play a role in servicing that growth.”

“Tubal-Cain initially will provide “wet” barge cleaning and stripping services, while operating out of the former Devall Diesel Building at the port,” said Lynn Hohensee, port director for West Calcasieu Port. “Within a few months, they will expand their services to include barge repair and maintenance while operating out of the western part of the port’s property.”

Tubal-Cain shortly will begin developing a permanent multi-functional barge cleaning and repair facility on a 10-acre tract of port property west of the port’s west barge basin. Once constructed, the facility will feature a marine vapor control flare, boiler-steaming service, tower crane support and a fully functional drydock facility.

The West Calcasieu Port (www.westcalport.com) offers waterfront property on the GIWW as well as more than 100 of its 213 waterfront access acres available for leased development.
Tubal-Cain becomes the sixth tenant at the port, and expands the port’s tenant base that already provides the following marine services – barge fleeting, dry-barge cleaning, marine construction, diesel engine repair, concrete manufacturing and concrete pumping services.untitled

Kennison Re-Elected Port Board President

SULPHUR — Sulphur businessman Joseph R. “Dick” Kennison was reelected president of the West Calcasieu Port board of commissioners   during the port board’s October monthly meeting.

The term is for one year. The five-member   board also re-elected Wilmer Dugas as vice president and Tim Dougherty as secretary/ treasurer.

Kennison is a 46-year veteran of the forestry and lumber industry. He serves as chairman and chief executive officer for Sulphur-based Kennison Forest Products, a position he has held since 1997. Prior to that, he was president of Ken for Division of Elder Forest Products in Sulphur for 18 years.

Kennison’s extensive community service includes six years on the Sulphur City Council (serving twice as council chairman) and West Calcasieu Chamber of Commerce member (president in   2003). He has served as chairman of Chamber Southwest Board of Directors in 2008, Rotary Club of Sulphur, Care Help Inc. of Sulphur, Sulphur Industrial Development Board, West Cal Cam Hospital Finance Committee and IRB Board for the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Currently, he serves on United Way of Southwest Louisiana board of directors, Care Help of Sulphur board of directors, the West   Calcasieu-Cameron Hospital finance committee, and a second term as president of the Sulphur Rotary Club.

Kennison was named the city of Sulphur Volunteer of the Year (2005), the Outstanding Service Award by the Habitat for Humanity (2002), the WCAC Citizen of the Year (2002), the YMBC President’s Award (1980) and the Rotarian of the Year (2011-2012).

He is a U.S. Air Force veteran (1966-1969) and Vietnam veteran (1968-1969).

DickKennison

West Calcasieu Port makes 11.5-acre Land Purchase

WCAL Land

SULPHUR, La, Oct. 26, 2015 – West Calcasieu Port officials announced today that the port has completed the $1.5 million purchase of 11.5 acres of adjacent property to the facility on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
“The additional property will increase port acreage to more than 200 acres,” said Lynn Hohensee, West Calcasieu Port director, “and it will expand the port GIWW waterfront by more than 700 linear feet, which the port will make available for lease to prospective tenants.”
Hohensee noted that the port expansion would not have been possible without the financial assistance via a $750,000 capital outlay grant from the Louisiana State Legislature.
“Most of the credit for procuring the capital outlay grant goes to Sen. John Smith, Sen. Ronnie Johns, Rep. Mike Danahay and the rest of our Southwest Louisiana delegation,” he added. “We believe these elected officials recognize the importance of the port expansion to our regional economic growth.

“With the expansion of our facility footprint, the port’s leadership team is better able to address the region’s growing demand for industrial acreage and waterfront access,” Hohensee explained.
He also emphasized that accommodating additional tenants is not the port’s only priority.

“A portion of the new property will be set aside for construction of a new port entrance road, which will improve port access and ease the amount of industrial traffic traveling through a nearby residential area,” Hohensee said.

“To reach the port’s current entrance, tenants, suppliers and visitors must travel through our nearby residential neighborhood,” he explained. “With a new entrance road, most of that traffic will be diverted onto port property before reaching the residential area.”

The West Calcasieu Port offers waterfront property on the GIWW as well as more than 100 of its 213 waterfront access acres available for leased development.

See the full-res map here.
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Hohensee: Tenant Synergy a Strong Element of West Cal Port

The West Calcasieu Port currently has seven tenants. Port Director Lynn Hohense said they make up a family of tenants with mutually beneficial skills.

“Tenant synergy is a strong element of our culture at this port,” he said.

The oldest and largest, Devall Enterprises, provides fueling, towing, fleeting, barge cleaning, and diesel repair services and handles all of the waterway activities at the port.

Orion Marine Group (formerly F. Miller and Sons), a heavy civil marine contractor, recently negotiated a five-year lease agreement extension for its marine construction services, dredging, repair and maintenance salvage, underwater inspection and a dozen other marine services. The company has been with the port since 2009.

River Barge Works, with the port since 2013, specializes in cleaning dry barges. These are barges that ship petroleum coke, scrap iron, grains, other non-liquid-type products. They have been on board for about two years and they lease space on the barge basin. Also joining the port in 2013 was United States Environmental Services. They provide dry barge cleaning and wet barge cleaning and scraping. That year USES partnered with Tresco. Tresco scrapes the the bottom of barges and stores whatever chemicals it recovers in mobile storage facilities located on-site which are then shipped off for recycling.

In January of this year, Tauber Oil Co. come onboard. The company’s 30,000-barrel-capacity refueling barge supplies vessels on the Intracoastal Waterway with ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

The most recent addition to the port’s list of tenants is CEMEX Cement of Louisiana. The company currently provides concrete support across the Intracoastal for Sempra through contractor CBI.

Hohensee said there is a strong possibility of an eighth tenant by year’s end.

“And we’re looking for more,” he said.

West Calcasieu Port Director Lynn Hohensee is also Serving as Part-Time Director for the Port of Vinton

   Since January, Lynn Hohensee has served as director for the Port of Vinton, a shallow-water port that sits on 806 acres of land.

   Created in 1956, the port currently houses two tenants,   Dunham Price and Performance Blasting and Coating. That leaves 600 acres of property available for lease.

   Hohensee said the overall goal is for the port to   partner with private businesses as tenants in an effort to create employees in the community, grow the tax base and grow infrastructure and investment. While Vinton residents and some tenants are aware of the port, he said work is being done to make the port more known outside the city.

   “How do we bring that knowledge of our port and our availability and what we have to offer to prospects that want to lease land,” he said.

   Because the Vinton port board “recognized that there’s growth coming to Southwest Louisiana,” Hohensee said that discussions soon began between him and Charles Broussard, port board member and former board president. Before Hohensee became port director, Broussard said the port president also acted as its director.

   “I kept saying to myself, ‘I can’t handle this job,’ ” Broussard said. “Finally, I told the board, we need to hire a port director part-time.”

   Hohensee has also been director of the West Calcasieu Port for the past nine years. He said both the Vinton and West Calcasieu   ports are smaller ports “that don’t have the revenue stream” that the Port of Lake Charles does.

   “So there’s a need to be   conscious of how you approach staffing,” Hohensee said. “The funding isn’t there to put together a full staff, and so contracting is the first step to go in that direction. As the port grows, it can expand its abilities to handle administration.”

   The port has a contract for Hohensee, a port attorney and an engineer. He said the Vinton city clerk assists the port with accounting activities.

   Hohensee said work was done to make sure there were no conflicts of interest between the Vinton and West Calcasieu ports. He said the ports in Southwest Louisiana have a “tremendously good working relationship and a synergy between them.”

   “Each port relatively has its own niche,” Hohensee said.

   Hohensee said the Port of Vinton is “an economic development engine” that has value in its   “considerable amount of land.” While the West Calcasieu Port is located close to the Intracoastal Waterway, it has a “tremendous limitation on land” available, with only 190 acres available, and about 40 percent of it being wetlands, he said.

   Hohensee describes the port as being “intermodal” because of its potential for transportation on water and land.

   “Our region is not just a oneport region,” he said.

   Some tracts of land have access to water via the Vinton   Navigation Channel, which feeds into the Intracoastal Waterway.

   “It is navigable; it’s not just like a drainage ditch,” he said. “Barges can move up and down it. One of our tenants, Dunham Price, has their own barge-loading facilities located here.”

   The port is also an industrial park, with a number of tracts available to tenants who don’t need waterfront access, Hohensee said.

   Hohensee said the “secret jewel” that the port has is that its location allows it to “equally service distance-wise” Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. The port is also located about two miles off Interstate 10.

   Hohensee said part of his role as port director is to represent the port at the local, regional and state activities within the marine and transportation industries and with government entities like the city of Vinton, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the state Department of Transportation and Development.

   Hohensee said he recently received word that a one-mile extension road will be built from the port to where La. 108 joins with Interstate 10. He said the Police Jury has funding support to build the road, but that the parish is working with the Army Corps of Engineers on wetland delineation. Construction on the access road could start as early as this fall or the winter of this year.

   “That is a tremendous enhancement for who are considering this port as a place to locate,” Hohensee said.

   Hohensee said the Vinton Navigation Channel has needs for dredging so the waterway is deep enough for safe navigation. He said he is working with the Army Corps of Engineering to dredge the mouth of the channel. He said he is working with a neighboring property owned by Gray Estate to use the dredged spoils that would be beneficial to the environment.

   Jerry Merchant, port board president, said there has been more activity at the port over the last two decades.

   “People are learning about us,” he said. “We have something that some areas don’t have; we actually have dry land.”