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West Calcasieu Port Receives New Funding

KPLC-TV
Sept. 21. 2019
By Chandler Watkins

SULPHUR, La. (KPLC) – The West Calcasieu Port is getting some major upgrades, thanks to a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

“The EDA funding for this project is a part of the $600 million allocated to EDA by Congress to help communities impacted by 2017 natural disasters to help them rebuild and recover.” Jason Wilson, a representative for the U.S. Economic Development Administration said.

The grant will be matched with $1.1 million in local investment.

The project results from regional planning efforts led by the Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission, and was funded by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, in which Congress appropriated $600 million to the EDA for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and other 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

So what will the money be going towards?

“It involves a project along our waterway,” Darla Perry, port CPA, said. “The total project will be $5.3 million. We will be installing 600 feet of bulkheading and a crane pad which will expand our port operations and be able to allow our port tenants to provide needed services to the maritime industry.”

“The bulkheading is going to help tremendously with silting and such as that,” Dick Kennison, Board president, said. “We won’t have to dredge as often as we have had to in the past which will be a big help. We get between 100 and 120 barges coming through our port each day. That will facilitate the port going out and getting new businesses because we have the facilities to handle them.”

The port averages daily fleeting of 130 barges, and the crane and bulkhead improvements will help it become a more significant player in transporting large industrial modules for the liquefied natural gas industry and related plant construction, according to West Calcasieu Port Director Lynn Hohensee. The port is located 1.5 miles west of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, where LNG industrial development and major module traffic is concentrated.

This grant is expected to help create 400 jobs. The port says they expect the new addition to be completed within the next 18 months.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.

https://www.kplctv.com/video/2019/09/20/west-calcasieu-port-receives-new-funding/

Grant A Welcome Boost for Port

AMERICAN PRESS
Sept. 21, 2019

Protecting Southwest Louisiana’s valuable economic development engines is a must, especially considering how vulnerable the area is to hurricanes and other disasters.

Sulphur’s West Calcasieu Port has been a major asset during severe storms, helping Louisiana and Southeast Texas after Hurricane Harvey’s 2017 landfall. Darla Perry, the port’s certified public accountant, said the port acts as “a safe harbor for shallow-water marine vessels in extreme weather conditions.”

Thanks to a sizeable federal grant, the port will be even more protected in the future.

Federal officials announced on Thursday that the port will get a $4.2 million grant to strengthen it against natural disasters. It’s a much-needed shot in the arm for a port that has seen a sizable increase in revenue over the last two decades.

The grant will cover a variety of work at the port, such as a steel sheet pile bulkhead berth facility built along the Intracoastal Waterway’s north bank. Another facility will allow shallow draft barges to load and unload up to 40 tons of cargo. Other features include steel sheet piling and a concrete crane pad next to the bulkhead.

The grant will also be paired with $1.1 million in local investment. Four hundred new jobs are expected.

Existing tenants at the West Calcasieu Port are also likely to benefit from this project. Devall Enterprises has been a tenant with the port for nearly 50 years — a testament to the working relationship between the two.

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, with the project being funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The administration got an extra $600 million to assist with recovery efforts following several disasters in 2017, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Thanks go out to the Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission and other local industries for securing the grant over nearly two years.

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Shot in the arm for West Cal Port – $4.2M grant expected to create 400 jobs

AMERICAN PRESS
Sept. 21, 2019
by Heather Regan White

The West Calcasieu Port is set to receive a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

EDA representative Jason Wilson said the grant will be matched with $1.1 million in local investment and is expected to help create 400 jobs.

The funds will be used to make the port more resilient to natural disasters.

Work will consist of the construction of a steel sheet pile bulkhead berth facility along the north bank of the Intracoastal Waterway at the port. The project includes the installation of 600 linear feet of steel sheet piling and the construction of a facility designed for shallow draft barges to load and unload heavy cargo ranging in weight from 30 to 40 tons. A 60-foot square concrete crane pad will be located adjacent to the bulkhead to support the mobile cranes needed to lift the heavy cargo from the barges.

Limestone access drives and drainage features will also be installed.

Port CPA Darla Perry said the port’s total revenue has grown by 1,200 percent since she took her position in 1998. This growth is without any property tax millage assessment to businesses or homeowners, she said. The shallow water port, which is comprised of a little over 200 acres, fleets around 40,000 vessels annually.

The port’s longest tenant, Devall Enterprises, is a fleeting or parking service for barges and boats serving industries along the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River and the Eastern Seaboard.

Devall Towing VP David Devall said the partnership between Devall and the port dates back nearly 50 years.

“The West Calcasieu Port has played an integral role in the growth of our family business,” he said. “The infrastructure and capital improvements being made will enable our company to expand services that support industries from all over the world.”

Other tenants include VLS Marine Services-Tubal Cain, River Barge Works, CGBM-Accutrans, Orion Marine, Star Concrete and Atlantic Equipment.

“Just as important as this is economically, our port serves as a safe harbor for shallow-water marine vessels in extreme weather conditions,” Perry said.

The project was made possible through regional planning efforts led by the Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission, which is funded by the EDA. The port had assistance from IMCAL, local industries and government agencies in getting their economic grant request through the process, one which took almost two years.

The funding for the project is part of the $600 million in additional funds to Congress appropriated to the EDA under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, wildfires, as well as natural disasters that occurred in 2017.

West Calcasieu Port honors attorney for half century of service

Glen James (left) receives a commemorative plaque from Dick Kennison, West Calcasieu Port board president, in recognition of James’ 50 years of service as the port’s attorney.

SULPHUR, La, May 7, 2019 — Sulphur attorney Glen James was formally honored today by the West Calcasieu Port Board of Commissioners for his 50 years of dedicated service as the port’s attorney.

“When man first walked on the moon in July 1969, Glen James already had notched four months of experience as the West Cal Port’s attorney of record,” said WCP Board President Dick Kennison during special activity during the port board’s regular monthly meeting.

In presenting James with a commemorative plaque, Kennison emphasized that “this was not a retirement ceremony for James, but rather a special moment for the port’s board to express appreciation to James for a half century of service and the start of a second half century of service.”

During the port board’s recognition of James’ continuous service, he also was honored for his devotion to citizens of the State of Louisiana and Calcasieu Parish, in particular.

“It’s been my pleasure to work with many great commissioners who have given their time to the West Calcasieu Port board over the past 50 years,” responded James to the unexpected anniversary salute,  “and to witness first-hand the port’s growth and increased value as the economic development engine that it is today.”

A 1964 graduate of Texas A&M University, James received his law degree from Louisiana State University and was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar in 1969, the same year he began providing legal services to the small fledgling port on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway 12 miles south of Sulphur.

He also served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve for 13 years and served one tour in Vietnam. He is a former city attorney for the City of Sulphur and served on the board of Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles for 11 years. He and his wife, Darlene, reside in Sulphur and have five children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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

AFTER DOING EVERYTHING ELSE UNDER THE SUN, LYNN HOHENSEE DECIDED TO HEAD UP TWO PORTS AT ONCE

BY ANDREA MONGLER

Lynn Hohensee isn’t really a one-job kind of guy.

Though he officially retired in 2002 after 30 years in the oil industry, today he serves as director of both the West Calcasieu Port and the Port of Vinton. He also owns and operates LEH Communications, a communications consulting company that specializes in marketing communications and public relations.

Hohensee at the Amphitheater overlooking Arlington National Cemetery

Hohensee at the Amphitheater overlooking Arlington National Cemetery

Hohensee’s history of working a few jobs at once dates back to his days as a Minnesota farm boy. Born in 1948 in Worthington, Minn., he was raised in the same house his dad grew up in.

“My dad was one of 17 children and I’m an only child, so there was a lot of room in the house,” Hohensee says.

When he was 10, his parents quit farming and moved to a small neighboring town — just 256 people, by Hohensee’s recollection — called Bigelow. His dad worked days in a Campbell Soup Co. factory that made poultry products, and his mom worked nights as a telephone operator.

Hohensee, of course, had a few childhood jobs, including baling hay, mowing lawns, shoveling snow and pulling weeds in bean fields. He recalls making 25 cents an hour for the last task. “The most I ever made was a dollar an hour — from the more generous farmers,” he says.

He also spent time working as a newspaper boy for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which would lay the foundation for his future career.

Hohensee with Bob Dole

Hohensee with Bob Dole

Though he started out as a math major after enrolling at South Dakota State University, by the end of his freshman year he had switched to a double major in journalism and geography. In true Hohensee fashion, he held three sports-writing jobs at once during his college years: associate sports editor of the Brookings Register, the local daily paper; sports editor for the university’s student newspaper; and a position in the sports information director’s office.

He did summer internships at his hometown paper back in Worthington and at the Huron (South Dakota) Daily Plainsman.

“The more you write, the better you get,” he says.

He also signed up for Army ROTC. In January, 1971, he graduated with a bachelor’s and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

After completing officer training, Hohensee did an active-duty stint in the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colo., where he worked in the public affairs office.

In 1972, he transitioned into civilian life, but he would serve in the Army Reserve until his retirement from the military as a lieutenant colonel in 1999.

One of the highlights of his military career was a memorial service for former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis when she was interred next to John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in May, 1994. Hohensee led a public affairs team that coordinated with the news media before, during and after the service. He still treasures a personal thank-you note, addressed to him and signed by the former first lady’s children, John Kennedy, Jr., and Caroline Kennedy.

Hohensee’s view of the funeral of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on May 23, 1994

Hohensee’s view of the funeral of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on May 23, 1994

Another highlight was his activation for Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990. “Ten minutes after President George H.W. Bush went on national television and announced his activation of military reserve forces, I received a call at my Conoco office in Ponca City, Okla., with a notification that I would soon receive official orders that would have me report to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Within a week, I was at the Pentagon, assigned to the personal staff of the Army Chief of Staff Carl Vuono; [the staff was] called the Chief’s Assessment & Initiative Group.

“I was the only Reserve officer in the CAIG. I was proud to serve with the team, [which was] assigned to assist with Desert Shield war planning efforts prior to Desert Storm. It wasn’t until years later, after moving to Lake Charles, that I learned that Gen. Vuono and our community’s own retired Army Col. Wade Shaddock were classmates at West Point back in the 1950s.”

Hohensee’s first position as a civilian was a reporting job with the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph. But in early 1973, his career took a notable turn when he accepted a position in the public affairs office of Shell Oil Co. in New Orleans.

Hohensee’s move to New Orleans would change his life. First, it marked the beginning of a three-decade-long career in the oil industry. It was also his introduction to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, which he would later choose to make his long-time home. And most important, he met his future wife, Marie, who also worked for Shell.

It didn’t take him long to become immersed in the Cajun culture.

“I was in charge of all the employee communications for Shell in the Gulf states and the Gulf of Mexico offshore, and it was an interesting experience,” Hohensee says. “On my first trip offshore, some very friendly Cajun workers introduced me to a south Louisiana card game. I lost probably about 30 percent of my first paycheck learning how to play bourré!”

Over the next few years, his career with Shell would take him to Houston, where he worked primarily as a corporate speechwriter. This stint would mark another milestone: the birth of Hohensee’s daughter, Heather.

After five years at headquarters, he returned to Louisiana, and the Shell refinery in Norco. A year later, he accepted a position back in Houston with Conoco.

Hohensee with Poddy Champeauxat a past CMN fundraiser

Hohensee with Poddy Champeauxat a past CMN fundraiser

His career with Conoco spanned the next 22 years. While Hohensee was with Conoco at its Houston-based headquarters in the early 1980s, one of his positions was coordinator of marketing communications. During that time, he edited two marketing publications for franchised branded jobbers and dealers. He also had the opportunity to spend time on the road with the company’s new “Hottest Brand Going” pitchman — four-time NFL Super Bowl champion quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

“The trips into Conoco’s marketing regions with Bradshaw were very interesting, and came at the time he was just finishing his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Hohensee says. “In addition to appearing in Conoco television commercials, Bradshaw was a great motivational speaker as he made public speaking engagements for service station and tire store grand openings across the Midwest.”

After Houston, Hohensee moved to Ponca City, Okla., and finally, in 1999, to Lake Charles. At those sites, he served as regional public relations director for the Rocky Mountains, the Mid-continent region and the Gulf Coast business units, respectively.

Then, in 2002, Phillips bought out Conoco, and Hohensee was among a group of heritage Conoco employees offered early-retirement packages. At age 54, he accepted. lynn_10

Joblessness wasn’t something Hohensee was accustomed to, but it didn’t last long. Within a couple of weeks, he accepted a position as head of the economic development foundation for the Chamber SWLA.

He left the chamber in 2005 to open his own consulting business. Within weeks, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and Hohensee was asked to help the United Way of SWLA address issues associated with the displaced New Orleans residents coming into Lake Charles.

“I was on duty for about a month when all of us had to leave because Hurricane Rita hit us,” he says. “We were displaced for a couple of weeks.”

Hohensee continued to work as a part-time consultant to the United Way, handling housing facilities and related communication activities, until 2007.

In the meantime — during the spring of 2006 — the West Calcasieu Port, 12 miles south of Sulphur, decided to hire a part-time director. Located halfway between Houston and New Orleans on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the 203-acre port is two miles west of the Calcasieu Ship Channel and a short drive from Interstate 10. The port offered Hohensee the job, and he accepted.

“People say, ‘How does a guy come out of the Army and the oil industry and then an economic development office and have the capacity and the background to run a port?’ And I will tell you that when I first started, I didn’t,” he says. “But the board believed in me, and we put together a strategic plan. And thanks to a grant from the Louisiana Dept. of Economic Development through the SWLA Economic Development Alliance, the port board of commissioners identified how we wanted the port to grow.”

And grown it has. When Hohensee was hired in 2006, the West Cal Port had just two tenants and revenue of less than $100,000. Today, it has seven tenants and annual gross revenue of nearly $900,000. During that same time span, the port’s asset base increased from $2.9 million to $12.4 million. The financial growth was accomplished with no full-time employees and no administrative office.

Before he became the port director, Hohensee and his wife had considered leaving Lake Charles. But they were immersed in the community and had good friends here, and they decided to stay.

“When I started working in the maritime industry and we started growing the port, I really felt like ‘This is home for us,’” Hohensee says. lynn_8

It’s a decade later, and he’s more at home here than ever. In 2014, his daughter, Heather Hohensee, returned to the U.S. after 13 years in Rome and Geneva, most of which she spent working for Procter & Gamble. Today, she serves as the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana. Her house is less than a mile from her parents’ home in Moss Bluff.

“Heather made the decision to live here to be close to her ‘aging parents,’” Hohensee says. “It’s just another reason we really feel Lake Charles is our home.”

The year 2014 was momentous for another reason. That summer, Hohensee was asked to serve as director of the Port of Vinton in addition to his role with the West Cal Port. Unsurprisingly, he accepted.

“I was concerned about a potential conflict of interest,” he says. “I had the presidents of both boards sit down and discuss this. We all came to an agreement that we could approach this in a manner that there would not be a conflict of interest, and to date there has not been.”

Photo By Peter O'Carroll

Photo By Peter O’Carroll

At about 800 acres, the Port of Vinton is larger than the West Cal Port. But it sits seven miles north of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Maritime vessels leaving the port must navigate through the Vinton Navigation Channel to reach the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

At both West Cal and the Port of Vinton, Hohensee works closely with a CPA, an attorney and an engineering firm, all of whom work on a part-time contract basis, like Hohensee. Each port also has a five-member board of directors. Hohensee says the board is very supportive of planned growth.

His responsibilities while serving as part-time contract director for both the West Cal Port and the Port of Vinton include recruiting new port tenants and maintaining positive relations with existing tenants. He’s also been tasked with interfacing with local, regional and state economic development organizations; with local and state political entities; and with local, state and federal maritime professional organizations.

“Close coordination with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and its administrative staff and with the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation & Development have been and continue to be essential to the growth and prosperity for both ports,” Hohensee says. lynn_6

Both the West Cal Port and the Port of Vinton are part of the five-member Southwest Louisiana Port Network. The most well known member of the network is the Port of Lake Charles, which is the nation’s 11th-largest port, based on tonnage. The other two ports in the network are the West Cameron Port and the Port of Mermentau.

The Port of Lake Charles, of course, is a cargo port and a landlord port, which is what most people think of when they hear the word “port.” But the other ports in the Southwest Louisiana Port Network have their own niches.

Hohensee’s two ports offer opportunities for what he calls “secondary and tertiary companies” that need waterfront access. At West Cal, the tenants provide services such as barge towing and fleeting; marine construction; wet barge cleaning, stripping and repair; and dry barge cleaning and repair. So when a barge needs repair work done, for example, one of the companies at West Cal can do the job.

lynnh8117

Photo By Peter O’Carroll

The Port of Vinton, on the other hand, is in the “industry growth niche,” Hohensee says. Its largest tenant, the Dunham Price Group, manufactures 40-foot concrete pylons that are driven into the ground to support construction projects. The facility is the largest of its kind in the nation.

“The strength of leadership at both the West Cal Port and the Port of Vinton is centered on the close working relationships of the boards of directors and the contract staffs,” Hohensee says. “In the economic climate we have in Southwest Louisiana right now, small entities like these ports are playing an instrumental role in making economic growth happen. I work very closely with the Port of Lake Charles and with the West Cameron Port. We have synergy, and we are helping one another through referral of potential clients. It’s been phenomenal, and we’re anticipating it will remain that way.”

In addition to his roles with the ports, Hohensee sits on the board of directors of the Ports Association of Louisiana and the board of directors for Boys Village. He is president of the Community Advisory Council for Christus St. Patrick Hospital. In a recent honor, he was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the PetroChem Athletic Association, a booster club for McNeese University Athletics.

Photo By Peter O'Carroll

Photo By Peter O’Carroll

Though a “farm boy from southern Minnesota” never could have imagined he’d end up at the helm of two thriving ports in Southwest Louisiana, Hohensee wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I don’t just enjoy my job. I absolutely love it,” he says. “The passion I have for helping two small ports grow and reach their potential is just a dream come true.”

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.

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

SULPHUR, 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.