West Cal Port now certified La. Economic Development site

American Press
February 5, 2020
By John Guidroz

SULPHUR — A 32-acre site at the West Calcasieu Port is officially Louisiana Economic Development certified, offering shovel-ready land for businesses looking to build there.

During a Tuesday press conference at Intracoastal Park, Lynn Hohensee, port director, said the site could attract anywhere from 300 to 400 jobs.

“It could be fabrication of materials or parts or modules for new industries coming in,” he said. “It could be a laydown yard for intermodal transportation. Materials may come in by barge and wait here because there’s no space at the construction site, and when it’s needed, moved to the site.”

The port site is the 12th in Southwest Louisiana and the ninth in Calcasieu Parish to be certified under LED’s site certification program.

Gus Fontenot, project coordinator for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, said a tenant could use the port’s site to provide services for projects currently awaiting final investment decision, such as Driftwood LNG, Magnolia LNG and Lake Charles LNG.

“There’s going to be a lot of industrial construction activity in this area, and West Cal Port is in the heart of it,” he said. “When those projects kick off … it’ll help them get in on the game, get a piece of the action.”

The certification removes any obstacles that may interrupt development, such as property having wetlands or underground artifacts, Fontenot said.

“That helps that property in the marketplace (and) gives it more of a competitive edge,” he said. “The port is poised for a good future.”

Hohensee said Louisiana Economic Development paid for 75 percent of the certification cost, roughly $45,000, while the port paid the remaining 25 percent, or about $15,000.

The West Calcasieu Port is made up of more than 200 acres along the Intracoastal Waterway, just west of the Ellender Bridge.

Last September, the port received a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. Hohensee said the grant will cover 80 percent of the cost associated with building a steel sheet pile bulkhead berth facility along the north bank of the Intracoastal Waterway.

West Calcasieu Port earns LED certification

February 4, 2020
By Drew Marine

LAKE CHARLES, La. — More job opportunities could be on the horizon in Southwest Louisiana, as another site has been Louisiana Economic Development, or LED, certified.

“Site certification was started because Louisiana Economic Development recognized Louisiana was losing projects to other states that had what they called site readiness programs,” Gus Fontenot, the economic development project manager for the SWLA Economic Development Alliance, said.

Now, thirty-two acres of land on the West Calcasieu Port Property is an LED certified site.

“That means we’re going out and making our facilities available for private businesses and industry that want to grow job numbers, expand the tax base of our communities and invest monies in infrastructure development,” Lynn Hohensee, the port director, said.

The certification allows this acreage to be “shovel ready”, meaning it’s already been inspected to be sure businesses and industry can move in, knowing there are no environmental issues. “We look for wetlands, is it in a flood zone? Are there any stream beds?” Fontenot said.

Due to the fact the property is LED certified, it’s readily available to lease. Hohensee hopes the convenience of their location will attract business.

“We’ve reached out to many of these projects, worked with their general contracting companies and told them we’re certainly available to help them and their subcontractors in doing the business of building these facilities,” Hohensee.

Hohensee said he expects the certification could ultimately result in the creation of 300 to 400 jobs.

Carlyss resident named to West Calcasieu Port board

SULPHUR, La. — Carlyss Resident Buddy Reams has been appointed to the West Calcasieu Port five-person board of commissioners by the Calcasieu Parish police jurors of the western portion of the parish.

Reams’ appointment was confirmed by resolution of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury on Feb. 6, 2020. His term will expire in October 2024. Reams assumed a port board commissioner position that was previously held by Dave Aguillard.

Reams serves as NACE International’s Chief Maritime Officer, a position he started in April 2016 after retiring from the United States Coast Guard (USCG). From 2006 to 2009, he served as the commander of Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles.

In his current civilian role, he leads the development of corrosion control programs and services to meet increasing demand from all global maritime industries including notably the shipbuilding, shipping, shore/port infrastructure, and offshore sectors. He is also the organization’s accredited representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Originally from Virginia, he was raised in Florida. He is a 1992 honors graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a BS in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering. Reams also holds two Master of Science degrees from the University of Michigan — in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering and Industrial Operations Engineering.

His nearly three decades of USCG service included engineering assignments on two USCG Cutters in South Florida supporting hurricane response and migrant interdiction operations and more than two decades of focus on commercial vessel safety. His responsibilities in this area included marine casualty investigations, foreign and domestic ship inspections, technical plan review of all ship types, global salvage engineering support and leading the Coast Guard’s technical program for all passenger and container ships, including work at IMO developing
safety standards, and collaboration with NTSB on improving mariner safety.

At Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles he led responses to major pollution and hurricane incidents, initiated sustainable joint law enforcement activities, and promoted overall port safety, security, and resiliency.

In the back half of his career, he established and led two separate National Centers of Expertise; one for cruise ships and another focused on liquefied gas ships, to meet Congressional demands of better industry focus. In these roles as the Coast Guard’s primary liaison to the respective industries, he directly managed Coast Guard wide training, field operation techniques, and policy development for nation’s marine safety programs associated with those industries.

He retired from the service at the rank of Captain as Chief of Prevention Operations in the Seventh Coast Guard District. In this capacity, he oversaw Maritime Safety mission performance in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and the Caribbean, including the Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer organization, bridges over navigable waterways, aids to navigation, waterway management including port restoration following storms, and marine safety inspection and casualty investigation activities.

Reams and his wife, Melisa, have two teenage children, Matthew and Crystal.

West Cal Port Earns Site Certification

February 4, 2020

SULPHUR, La. — West Calcasieu Port Director Lynn Hohensee announced today that the port is now home to a certified site under Louisiana Economic Development’s Site Certification Program. The director made the announcement this morning at a special ceremony held at Intracoastal Park.

The 32-acre certified site is adjacent to existing tenants and other port property, which consists of 203 acres along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway off La. Hwy. 27, just west of the Ellender Bridge. Hohensee hopes the Certified Site will help attract new tenants to the port, which is zoned Heavy Industrial.

“Like our fellow 30-plus public maritime ports in Louisiana, the West Cal Port is a regional economic development engine designed to attract private business that, in turn, will facilitate the growth of private investment, job growth and tax base expansion,” Hohensee explained. “Our port commissioners are confident that the newly certified acreage will be an incentive that will attract new tenants and their workforce.”

“West Cal Port is located in an area that could potentially be useful to major construction projects as they develop up and down the Calcasieu Ship Channel,” said Gus Fontenot, Project Coordinator for the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. “The port having a certified site lets them offer an an advantage to companies that want to locate and start their operations quickly. Hopefully this results in new jobs for the community and more revenue for the port,” added Fontenot.

LED’s Site Certification Program promotes sites that are “shovel ready” for businesses and industries to build or locate. Since 2012, the Site Certification Program has incentivized land owners to get property certified by offering to pay up to 75 percent of the costs associated with the due diligence process. That process includes environmental inspection, elevation surveys, archaeological investigations, a wetlands delineation, and much more in-depth documentation, analysis, and background work. The remaining 25 percent of the costs are covered by the landowner or others. The West Cal Port site is the 12th certified site in Southwest Louisiana and the ninth in Calcasieu Parish.

For more information about Southwest Louisiana’s Site Certification Program, contact Gus Fontenot at The Alliance (337) 433-3632 or email [email protected].