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CONTENTS

P O R T S TA F F

executive director

deputy director

c h i e f

Roy Quezaire

o p e r at i n g o f f i c e r

airport director

Dale Hymel, Jr.

Cindy Martin

director of a d m i n i s t r at i o n

Paul Aucoin

Lisa Braud

director of business development

executive counsel

director of finance

Linda Prudhomme Melissa Folse Grant Faucheux Tamara Kennedy

director of human resources

director of m a r i n e o p e r at i o n s

Brian Cox

special projects officer

Joel T. Chaisson

port of south louisiana 171 Belle Terre Blvd., P.O. Box 909 LaPlace, LA 70069-0909 www.portsl.com Phone: (985) 652-9278 | Fax: (504) 568-6270 globalplex intermodal terminal Phone: (985) 652-9278 port of south louisiana executive regional airport Phone: (985) 652-9278 ext 8512 a s s o c i at e d t e r m i n a l s Phone: (985) 233-8545 The Port of South Louisiana is a member of the Ports Association of Louisiana. To become an associate member of PAL and to help further the maritime industry in Louisiana, please visit PAL’s website at www.portsoflouisiana.org or call the PAL office at (225) 334-9040.

Merger between Nature and Industry

published by renaissance publishing llc

editor

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director ’ s log

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overview around the port The seafood industry is fully immersed in the traditions, celebrations and customs of the region. airport Aviation Awareness Day introduce youngsters to the wonder of flight.

what ’ s new How dredging the Mississippi River will improve costs for soybean and grain transportation. what ’ s new Louisiana Ag Commissioner Mike Strain talks trade and infrastructure

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whats new The past, present and future of ITEP what ’ s new A new grant promises improvements at Port of South Louisiana’s Globalplex company profile How Baumer Foods recovered from Hurricane Katrina and started anew port side

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port raits

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port owned facilities

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port map

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final frame

SPRING 2020 | PORT OF SOUTH LOUISIANA

art director production manager

Topher Balfer

Ali Sullivan Emily Andras

Rosa Balaguer, Meghan Rooney

production designers

traffic coordinator

Jeremiah Michel

v i c e

president of sales

Colleen Monaghan

account executives

Shelby Harper

c o n t r i b u t i n g w r i t e r s Will Kalec Misty Milioto Chris Price

To advertise call Shelby Harper at (504) 830-7246 or email Shelby@myneworleans.com. 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 • www.myneworleans.com Copyright 2020 The Port Log, Port of South Louisiana, and Renaissance Publishing LLC. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Port of South Louisiana, Post Office Box 909, LaPlace, LA 700690909. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the owner or Publisher. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazine’s managers, owners or publisher. The Port Log is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope.


DIRECTOR’S LOG

At a ceremony held in February at Globalplex’s Guesthouse, U.S. Maritime Administrator Admiral Mark H. Buzby, along with Senator Bill Cassidy and Representative Garret Graves, formally presented a check for $13.4 million to Port of South Louisiana, a grant approved through the new U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development (PID) program for a Multi-Modal Connections project at Globalplex Intermodal Terminal. The improvement project, which was also awarded funds from Louisiana’s Capital Outlay program, will include a new heavy capacity dock access bridge, an access road, a rail spur and a dry storage area with conveyors to move bulk material. Globalplex is a 335-acre maritime industrial park located in the heart of the Port of South Louisiana district, affording easy access to the Canadian National (CN) railroad, local/ state/interstate roadways, local and international airports, and the Mississippi River. The facility has three docks, 340,000 square feet of warehouse space, 800,000 square feet of open storage pad space, bulk domes and an available industrial site. Over the last 20 years, the Port of South Louisiana has been making continuous improvements to Globalplex’s infrastructure and cargo has quadrupled since 2007. The Globalplex Multi-Modal Connections project is in direct response to a demand resulting from the increase in throughput. The plan aims to bring the current infrastructure to working standards and increase warehousing options along with improving the linked transportation network, increasing the capacity and addressing the remaining bottlenecks at the facility to allow it to function as an efficient public bulk and breakbulk facility.

d. paul robichaux

joseph scontrino vice chairman

chairman

pat sellars vice president

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Improvements revolve around the terminal’s general cargo dock and Building 71, a 54K square-foot warehouse that is currently undergoing skeletal repairs. PID grant moneys are slated for (1) the design and construction of a new general cargo dock access bridge/road to support heavy-haul permit loads or “offroad” trucks, (2) to strengthen the foundation of Building 71 to accommodate warehousing of heavier commodities, (3) to improve the conveyor system from Building 71 to adjacent storage domes and bulk dock that will allow transfer of bulk cargo in a closed loop, (4) the installation of rail spur connecting Canadian National railroad to Building 71, and (5) the paving of a looped access road through Building 71 that will connect to Globalplex’s entrance road. These upgrades will complement projects currently underway: the Globalplex Dock Reinforcement project that will strengthen the general cargo dock, and the Globalplex Equipment Construction project, the installation of two new mobile harbor cranes that will increase efficiency for existing cargo and prepare the port for expansion. The multi-modal connections project will pave the way for business growth and vitality, increasing the efficiency, productivity and reliability of cargo transport that reduces the carbon footprint of regional transportation systems, and eventually, leading to more affordable goods for U.S. consumers. We appreciate Senators Cassidy and Kennedy, and Congressmen Graves, Richmond, and Scalise for their support and assistance in securing this grant for the Port of South Louisiana. We also extend our gratitude to Secretary Elaine Chao for granting this award. We take it as a show of confidence in the Port’s significance to the national economy. •

p. joey murray

stanley bazile

treasurer

s e c r e ta r y

robert "poncho" roussel

kelly buckwalter

whitney hickerson

judy songy

vice president

vice president

vice president

vice president

SPRING 2020 | PORT OF SOUTH LOUISIANA


OVERVIEW

294.91

258.66

the 54-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that runs through

292.76

1960 to promote commerce and industrial development along

307.86

The state legislature established the Port of South Louisiana in

303.10

T R A N S P O R TAT I O N CENTER OF THE AMERICAS

EDIBLE OILS / SUGAR / MOLASSES / OTHER 1.8 (<1%)

89.57

COAL / LIGNITE / COKE 11.3 (4%)

83.99

CONCRETE/STONE 1.07 (<1%) STEEL PRODUCTS 4.6 (2%)

89.21

86.26

the St. Charles, St. John and St. James tri-parish regions.

79.17

SOYBEAN 44.6 (17%)

61.64

73.97 65.96 2018 73.96

57.40

76.04

(IN MILLION SHORT TONS)

73.68

TOTAL TONNAGE: 258,657,069

2017 71.72

MAIZE 30.9 (12%)

75.93

PORT OF SOUTH LOUISIANA 2019

73.84

CHEMICALS / FERTILIZERS 19.5 (8%)

64.08

63.50

ORES / PHOSPHATE ROCK 11.8 (5%)

60.44

2019

67.59

ANIMAL FEED 9.5 (4%)

2016

NUMBER OF BARGE MOVEMENTS: 54,921

2015 69.33

NUMBER OF VESSEL CALLS: 3,945

WHEAT 3.6 (1%)

SORGHUM (MILO) + RICE 1.6 (<1%)

PETROCHEMICALS 53.2 (21%)

PORT OF SOUTH LOUISIANA TOTAL TONNAGE 2015 – 2019 (IN MILLIONS OF SHORT TONS)

CRUDE OIL 65.1 (25%)

EXPORTS

DOMESTIC SHIPPED

IMPORTS

DOMESTIC RECEIVED

PHILOSOPHY

FACILITIES

MISSION

The Port’s philosophy of development is to entice companies to set up regional operations within its boundaries. The Port serves primarily as a “landlord” port to more than 30 grain, petroleum and chemical companies. The exception to this is the port-owned world-class intermodal Globalplex facility SoLaPort, and the St. James Westbank property.

Within the Port’s jurisdiction, there are seven grain elevators, multiple midstreaming operations, more than 40 liquid and dry-bulk terminals, the Globalplex Intermodal Terminal and the Port’s Executive Regional Airport.

The Port is charged with a mission to promote maritime commerce, trade and development, and to establish public and private partnerships for the creation of intermodal terminals and industrial facilities.

WORLD’S LARGEST PORT DISTRICT

The ports of South Louisiana, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, St. Bernard and Plaquemines make up the world’s largest continuous port district. They are responsible for moving one-fifth of all U.S. foreign waterborne commerce.

PORT AREA

The Port covers a 54-mile stretch of the lower Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The Port begins at river mile 114.9AHP near the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and winds through St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James parishes. It continues north to river mile 168.5AHP just north of the Sunshine Bridge.

GOVERNANCE

The Port is under the jurisdiction of the state of Louisiana and authorized by the state constitution. A nine-member board of commissioners directs the Port; all of them are unsalaried. •

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AROUND THE PORT

T H E CAT CH IS THE CULTURE BY WILLIAM KALEC

Beyond being an important economic staple of South Louisiana, the seafood industry is fully immersed in the traditions, celebrations and customs of the region

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ome this time of year — the season of Mardi Gras and Lent, and leading up to Easter — Erik Donnaud knows better than most that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. And when you’re in the business of crawfish, a dish that has become synonymous with South Louisiana, failure isn’t an option. “Oh man, it’s like the Super Bowl…well actually, it’s more like the start of the playoffs,” says Donnaud, the longtime manager of The Seafood Pot, a prominent River Parish Eastbank restaurant and market. “Everybody is off of

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work, and everybody is boiling crawfish that weekend. The demand is crazy. And it’s crazy for weeks. “Crawfish season, you have to see it to believe. It’s one food that everybody wants. It’s wild.” From strictly a dollars and cents standpoint, it’s inarguable the seafood industry is an important piston in Louisiana’s economic engine. As the nation’s second-leading seafood supplier, Louisiana accounts for 70 percent of the oysters caught in the United States, harvests 313,000 alligators annually, farms 110 million pounds of crawfish per year and boasts a shrimp industry that

employs 15,000 people and generates a $1.3 billion annual economic impact. As a whole, Louisiana Seafood is responsible for a $2.4 billion yearly economic impact. One out of every 70 jobs in Louisiana is tied to the seafood industry. Yes, those statistics do catch the eye, but they still don’t fully explain the attachment the seafood industry has on South Louisiana’s cultural identity. Crawfish. Shrimp. Oysters. They aren’t just something to eat. They’re something to experience. Take Donnaud for example. Though he’s run a place that’s served well over a million pounds of


AROUND THE PORT

crawfish over the years, when asked about the role seafood has played in his life, he traces back to his childhood in Luling watching his grandfather eschew traditional bait like worms and bugs, but instead hooking up a hunk of meat to his line — a fond memory that showcases this industry is as much a feeling as it is a food. “Being so close to the water, seafood has always been a part of our lives,” Donnaud says. “You know it’s in my blood, and it’s in a lot of our blood. Living down here, you almost have to try to not have seafood be in your everyday life, because so much is wrapped into it — that seafood culture. You know, it’s a pastime. “You could make a meal, and invite people over, but it’s probably going to be like 4 or 6 people around a table. But if you get a sack of crawfish, that boil can attract the whole neighborhood to come over, catch up with each other, and make a whole day of it. Seafood brings the community together.” Not just our community, either. Seafood — especially boiled

crawfish and shrimp — has become a widespread passion without borders. The proliferation of travelogue-style TV shows, traditional publications and blogs in the past decade has exposed those from other parts of the country and other parts of the world to this unique South Louisiana seafood culture and cuisine. “I really think the word on crawfish has spread,” Donnaud says. “Now, don’t get me wrong, when we first opened, a lot of people were eating crawfish. But now it’s like everyone is eating them. We’re shipping them all over the country, now. Boils in New York, California, we do a big one in St. Louis. So it’s not just locals anymore, and we like being able to let people enjoy them all over.” It’s a year-round obsession. As Donnaud explained, February through mid-Spring is consumed by boiled crawfish. After that, when the water warms in June and July, crabs are at their best. And then in the late fall and winter, people are looking for shrimp and oysters for hardy stews and gumbos.

The increased popularity of Louisiana’s seafood has re-emphasized the customer’s want for authenticity. Though fully-engrained into the South Louisiana culture, independent commercial fishermen have seen their profit margins dip dramatically in the past decade, as operation costs continue to rise while an influx of foreign imports — particularly from Asia — have driven down the price per pound to break-even-at-best levels. “People want the Louisiana stuff, and they want to know it’s the local stuff,” Donnaud says. “It’s gotten to the point where the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries make you post a sign if you’re selling foreign seafood. And people look for that. People ask, ‘Is this Louisiana Seafood?’ It’s a question I get asked multiple times a day, and I gladly answer, ‘Yes, it is. Nothing foreign.’ “It’s obviously accessible, but it’s more than that. It’s a point of pride,” Donnaud continues. “It’s the livelihood of so many down here, so we’d never turn our back on the locals.” •

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AIRPORT NEWS

S PR E ADING N EW WI N G S BY WILLIAM KALEC

Entering their fourth year, the organizers of Aviation Awareness Day continue to introduce youngsters to the wonder of flight, all while never forgetting the personal inspiration behind the event.

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hough it’d be a few more years until he finally got off the ground, Tristan Green’s passion for flight was quite literally love at first sight. Even before Tristan attended school, his father Paul Green, an experienced aircraft mechanic of 30 years who has worked for the U.S. Navy and commercial carriers like FedEx, would often bring him on board and let his son’s eyes and mind soak in both the plane’s enormity and intricate gadgetry and detail. “To be honest, looking at all the instruments in the cockpit, and taking it all in — it was scary but exciting at the same time,” Tristan recalls. “I just wanted to learn everything I could, to figure out how all this got this big plane up into the air.” That curiosity never left. At 14 years old — an age when most kids can’t decide what hot lunch to pick from the cafeteria — Tristan began the challenging process of becoming a pilot. Less than three years later, after intense instruction, the then-East St. John High School senior completed his first solo f light in Texas. Now, he’s been accepted into and plans to enroll in Delta State University’s renowned commercial aviation program this coming Fall. “As a father with the background I have in aviation, it was natural for me to support Tristan’s desire to f ly. But I think the thing that

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sparked our interest is the number of kids who couldn’t believe Tristan was actually f lying an airplane,” Paul says. “They were fascinated by it, and they had so many questions. ‘Well, how do you f ly it?’ and ‘How’d you get to do this?’ And so we wanted to not only provide answers, but show them that a career in aviation is a real, attainable thing.” Thus the seeds of Aviation Awareness Day were planted, ultimately blossoming into an annual event held at the Port of South Louisiana’s Executive Regional Airport. Paul, along with commercial pilot

Cedric Grimes and Pastor Donald August Sr., of Rising Star Baptist Church in LaPlace, formed the nonprofit organization Guys Achieving Goals and began outlining their vision for what this aviation event would be, how it would work and what it would accomplish. “So many kids in St. John and the local community, they’ve never been close to an airplane, let alone be on an airplane,” Pastor August says. “We knew this event, if we could pull it off and get the private pilots to come and get the community onboard, would give them something they’ve never seen before and give that


AIRPORT NEWS

OPPOSING PAGE: Paul and

Tristan Green THIS PAGE:

Students of all ages gather to learn more about aviation as an industry and profession at the annual Aviation Awareness Day.

first experience with flying. For them, it’s such a thrill. Afterward, it’s like they’re walking a foot off the ground. “And the best part is the pilots are just as excited, because they feed off the reaction of the kids.” In previous years, kids have ridden a variety of general aviation aircraft, including a the single-engine Cessna 172 — a plane many aviation experts dub the most successful plane in aircraft history because of the units sold and the longevity of production – the twin-engine monoplane Cessna 310, and several models of Piper planes. At this year’s Aviation Awareness Day, pilots of various disciplines — some former military aviators, some current commercial aviators of both planes and helicopters — will mentor those in attendance. Before and after each ride into the sky, these pilots will shed light on the various career avenues available in aviation (beyond just being

a pilot) and hammer home the importance of excelling in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education once they reach high school. Paul Green said he expects children and families from not only St. John Parish, but also St. Charles, St, James, and St. Helena Parishes to attend, likely giving Aviation Awareness Day it’s biggest crowd since this all started back in 2017. The event is free of charge. “The support we’ve gotten from the community, from sponsors, from the Port — it’s all been great, and it’s helped us grow,” Paul says. “And that’s the goal: Keep growing, keep showing more kids these planes, and to keep seeing their expressions when they’re up in the air. You see that look on their face, ‘Hey, we were f lying!’ When you see that, you know you’re having an impact on these kids.” •

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S U P P LY ING T HE SOYBEAN BY MISTY MILIOTO

How dredging the Mississippi River will improve costs along the inland waterway for soybean and grain transportation

Soybean Association visits the Port of South Louisiana

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.S. agriculture is heavily dependent upon a number of transportation modes, including inland waterways and ports, to supply customer demands. In order to ensure a cost effective and reliable route via the Mississippi River, the United Soybean Board — a member of the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) — has provided $2 million to help offset the planning, design and research costs of deepening the lower Mississippi River. In addition to the USB, the STC consists of 13 state soybean boards and the American Soybean Association. The participating states (Illinois,

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Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee) encompass 85 percent of total U.S. soybean production, much of which is exported to other countries. Besides seeking a costeffective transportation system for soybean shippers and customers, the STC’s objectives include ensuring the U.S. transportation system has the infrastructure and capacity necessary for the long-term competitiveness of the soybean industry; building and maintaining collaborative relationships; and ensuring the soybean industry understands the

impact of transportation issues on profitability and competitiveness. Soybean farmers and a large number of Mississippi River stakeholders have been promoting the dredging of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico (a 256-mile stretch) from 45 feet to 50 feet in depth. According to Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the STC, the lower river shipping channel accounts for 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports and 59 percent of corn exports — by far the leading export region for both commodities. The Mississippi River dredging effort is estimated to cost $245


W H AT ’ S N E W

million and will occur in three phases, two of which will be cost-shared between the federal government (75 percent) and the State of Louisiana (25 percent). The f irst phase focuses on dredging the river from Venice, Louisiana, (approximately Mile 10 Above Head of Passes) to the Gulf of Mexico, which will provide a 50-foot deep channel to approximately Mile 154 AHP of the river. “A substantial number of soybean and grain export terminals are located within this portion of the river,” Steenhoek says. The second phase includes dredging from Mile 154 AHP to Baton Rouge (Mile 232 AHP), thereby including the remaining soybean and grain export terminals in the 50-foot shipping channel. The f inal phase encompasses the relocation of pipelines buried under the northern portion of the shipping channel. “The estimated $ 80 million cost of doing so would be split evenly between the State of Louisiana and the pipeline owners,” Steenhoek says. “In February, the Army Corps of Engineers released the details of their f iscal year 2020 Work Plan (i.e. the list of specif ic projects to receive federal funding). The lower Mississippi River deepening project was included on the list, allowing the effort to proceed.” According to Steenhoek, this regional dredging project benef its soybean industry stakeholders in a number of ways: decreased cost of shipping, increased exports per vessel load, and more f inancial return for soybean farmers. “Recent research conducted by the Soy Transportation Coalition concludes that shipping costs for soybeans from Mississippi Gulf

export terminals would decline 13 cents per bushel ($5 per metric ton) if the lower Mississippi River is dredged to 50 feet,” Steenhoek says. “A deeper river will allow both larger ships to be utilized and current ships being utilized to be loaded with more revenueproducing freight. Average vessel loads will increase from 2.4 million bushels of soybeans (66,000 metric tons) to 2.9 million bushels (78,000 metric tons) — an increase of 500,000 bushels or a 21 percent increase.” The STC’s research also concluded that farmers in the 31 evaluated states will annually receive an additional $461 million for their soybeans due to dredging the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet. “It is well established that farmers located in closer proximity to the nation’s inland waterways and barge transportation enjoy a positive or less negative basis versus soybeans grown in areas farther removed,” Steenhoek says. “As a rule, the less costly and more eff icient the supply chain is subsequent to farmers delivering their soybeans, the higher value a farmer will receive for the bushels of soybeans produced. While those states located in close proximity to the inland waterway system will realize the most benef it, states further removed will also benef it from the increased modal competition between rail and barge.” While this project is centered here in Louisiana, Steenhoek says that it should not be regarded simply as a Louisiana project. That’s because the inland waterways of the United States — particularly the upper Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois and Arkansas rivers, and the Mississippi Gulf

region — create a critical supply chain for agriculture and a host of other industries. “One cannot care about one without caring for the other,” he says. “The lower Mississippi River deepening project must also be regarded as an Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, etc. project.” The Port of South Louisiana advocates for deepening the lower Mississippi River, and this project is an example of many industries and organizations throughout the country collaborating to achieve this goal. “Our industries in the port are competing with the rest of the world in getting their product out,” says Paul Aucoin, Executive Director at the Port of South Louisiana. “At the Port of South Louisiana, we have seven grain elevators. We’re the largest grain exporting port in the United States, and most of that grain comes from the Midwest and it comes down the Mississippi River on barges. Last year we had 53,000 barges come through the port, and most of that was grain. Then the product is loaded onto vessels and shipped to over 90 different countries.” In terms of environmental concerns, Steenhoek says the Army Corps of Engineers conducted an environmental impact study that concluded the deepening project is expected to net positive environmental impacts. “One of the main reasons frequently cited is how the benef icial use of the dredged material will create approximately 1,462 acres of wetlands, enhancing wildlife habitat and helping mitigate shoreline erosion in southern Louisiana,” he says. •

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AI M I NG FOR BETTER TRADE BY CHRIS PRICE

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain hopeful trade deals, deeper Mississippi River, improved infrastructure will be a boon for state economy

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here is no doubt that federal tariffs and trade wars have impacted Louisiana’s economy, but with the agreement of several new trade deals, the approval of funding to deepen the Mississippi River, and investment in infrastructure, Louisiana’s Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., believes the state’s economy is at the dawn of a new day. Strain is beginning his fourth term as ag commissioner. A veterinarian and rancher, he was born in Covington and f irst entered politics in 1999 when he was elected state representative District 74, located in St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. He served two terms in the state house before turning his eye to Agriculture & Forestry, a state agency that had been plagued with accusations of cronyism and corruption. He won in 2007 when his incumbent opponent dropped out of the race, and won re-election in 2011, 2015 and 2019. In his role, Strain oversees the promotion, protection and advancement of the state’s agriculture, forestry, and soil and water resources, both domestically and internationally. It’s a major role in a state that is economically dependent on agriculture and shipping, and it has grown more

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important in recent years with the impact of tariffs and trade wars on nations that had been reliable trade partners with the state, including China, Brazil, Turkey and South Korea. According to Strain, one in three acres of the country’s agricultural production is exported, and foreign trade accounts for more than 40 percent of the total value of the state’s agricultural products. At the farm and forest level, these industries contribute $11.7 billion annually to the state’s economy. When the many support industries are added in, agriculture and forestry touch the lives of everyone in Louisiana, making them critical to employment, economic growth and prosperity of the state. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in Louisiana there are 553,200 jobs supported by trade and more than $7.1 billion in exports impacted by tariffs. While President Donald Trump has tried to level the playing f ield for American companies and farmers, the imposed tariffs have caused harm. According to the USDA, the state has seen total exports drop from $1.9 billion in 2012 to $1.4 billion in 2018. Strain says the drop is mainly due to the decrease in soybean exports, a $712.2 million

industry. In 2019, bulk cargo volumes dropped by 25 percent at the Port of New Orleans and 15 percent at the Port of South Louisiana. The rise in steel prices have affected both trade and investment at both facilities. “Tariffs have resulted in loss of contracts and less product being shipped at peak times, specif ically to China,” Strain says. But new trade talks and agreements have many excited that the pain will soon cease, and economic conditions will improve. The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement was established in October 2019. The agreement between the United States of America, Mexico and Canada (USMCA), a free trade deal, followed in December, and an initial deal with China was


W H AT ’ S N E W

Commissioner Strain accepts a gift from PSL Director Paul Aucoin and Director of Business Development Linda Prudhomme.

signed in January. “The USMCA will increase American ag exports by $2 billion per year,” Strain says. “The Japanese trade deal will reduce or remove tariffs on $7 billion per year of U.S. ag goods. The China trade deal, phase one, will increase American exports to China by $36 plus billion per year.” While companies across the state are looking forward to reinvigorating established relationships, they have also been exploring trade missions and opportunities in new markets around the world, specif ically with the United Kingdom and European nations, in order to diversify their export capacity. As the state continues to work with

the federal government on trade policy, it is also doing what it can to improve its ability to compete. In February, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise announced the Army Corps of Engineers will spend $85.35 million to deepen the Mississippi River navigation channel between Baton Rouge and the Gulf of Mexico to 50 feet, five feet deeper than at present, and another $45.7 million for the dredging project has been proposed in the nation’s 2021 budget. It’s a big win for Louisiana and the states that use Louisiana ports to ship their goods. The f ive-foot difference will accommodate “New Panamax” vessels, larger cargo ships built since the widening Panama

Canal, to travel upriver to New Orleans and Baton Rouge and port facilities in between. The Corps believes the dredging will add an average of $127.5 million a year to the nation’s economy. “We expect a signif icant increase in the number of ships coming into the Mississippi River, which will result in better prices for farmers,” Strain says. With those improvements, Strain says one of the main initiatives he would like addressed in his fourth term is the revitalization of and addition of new infrastructure for the state’s roads, bridges, railways, and ports, including storage capacity, to ref lect the state’s new capabilities for international trade. •


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THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF ITEP BY WILLIAM KALEC

On the books for decades, the Louisiana Industrial Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) has successfully attracted manufacturers to the state via tax abatements but has evolved and reformed as it’s re-entered the public and political spotlight in the past five years.

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lessed with strategically-beneficial geography for intermodal transport, a proven, skilled and willing-to-work labor force, coupled with an abundance of natural resources, Louisiana has been an attractive site for large-scale manufacturing and industrial operations to set up shop for years. But in a rapidly evolving global marketplace, where the competition to attract these quality-job producers (and the direct and indirect economic impact that comes with them) is fierce, the Louisiana Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) has provided companies additional incentive to establish new capital projects and/or expand existing operations here as opposed to elsewhere. Enacted in 1974, ITEP allowed the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry to then-offer 100 percent property tax exemptions at the local level for a period of ten years to eligible industrial companies setting up new operations or expanding existing operations in Louisiana. Referred to as a “mainstay of our economic development efforts” by LED Secretary of Economic Development Don Pierson, ITEP has played a role in attracting 200 development projects to Louisiana since 2016, resulting in 40,000 new jobs across 52 of the state’s 64 parishes. “By providing a temporary abatement of property taxes — only on new

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capital investment by manufacturers — we’re encouraging our existing companies to modernize and expand,” Pierson said. “We’re also encouraging new investors to bring manufacturing operations to Louisiana. “In both cases, we’re investing in our workforce. By encouraging existing Louisiana employers to modernize, we’re helping them be more competitive, and that secures those existing jobs for the future.” Since its inclusion at the 1974 Louisiana Constitution Convention, ITEP remained relatively untouched, unchanged and formally unchallenged for decades. In 2016, however, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an executive order that set forth new guidelines for the long-standing business incentive program — and a restructuring of authority that gave local governments a role in approval process for the first time. Gov. Edwards’ action required each ITEP contract proposal to contain job creation and/or job retention thresholds that needed to be met to qualify for tax exempt status. Just as important, the ITEP revision requires that affected local taxing authorities sign off on the level of acceptable local tax exemption afforded to ITEP projects in their jurisdictions – allowing for some tax revenue to benefit local services like public schools, fire/police, and drainage projects. Essentially, each affected local body – municipal-

ity, parish, sheriff and/or school board – either approves the BC&I’s recommendation for approval in their jurisdiction, or declines the same, thereby resulting in 100% of those ad valorem taxes flowing to that body from day one. If the local body does nothing, it is presumed that the application is approved with no further action. “This is a substantial gain for local jurisdictions, giving them immediate tax revenue that they did not have prior to Governor Edwards’ executive orders,” Pierson said of the 2016 reform. “At the same time, manufacturers still get a significant incentive to reinvest in Louisiana manufacturing sites and jobs, or to invest here for the first time.” While the 2016 ITEP changes did give locals more of a voice, it also created some confusion about the role and authority of those granting approval. To counter that, the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry authored rules in 2018 that clarified the ITEP process going forward, and provided interested developers a “clear path” toward acceptance. Today, the ITEP process begins at the state level. Once the Board of Commerce and Industry approves an ITEP application, the terms of that particular agreement go before local officials who have up to 60 days to approve or reject the ITEP contract. Approved ITEP contracts now offer an 80 percent local property tax exemption for 10 years (as opposed


W H AT ’ S N E W

to the previous 100 percent), allowing 20 percent of tax revenue to be utilized immediately. “We’ve done a comprehensive job of educating and informing the school boards, sheriffs and police jury, parish council and municipal governments statewide about their role and options,” Pierson said. “We think ITEP is a real plus for them, and that the investments made by manufacturers in their communities — construction jobs, labor and materials, sales taxes, business purchases in the service industry, charitable contributions — really add up to great value and a great reason to support an ITEP application.” With that said, several debates continue on both sides of the aisle about ITEP’s revisions and what occurs during that 10-year grace period. But what often doesn’t get discussed, Pierson says, is the economic impact of ITEP after the

decade-long exemptions expire. As an example, Pierson points to the $3.9 billion expansion of Marathon’s Garyville Plant completed in March 2010. That capital investment created thousands of jobs during the construction process and expanded the refining capacity of a site that employs 905 direct workers – an immediate boost to the local economy. And now, ten years later, the tax exemptions that played a role in prompting that expansion expire — thus raising property tax revenue in St. John The Baptist Parish by 80 percent this year, according to Pierson. “That’s a striking example of just how effective the Industrial Tax Exemption Program is to Louisiana,” he said. “With it, we have one of the most competitive business climates for attracting manufacturing investment. Without it, we would drop to the lower tier of states.” In 2019, there were a few legisla-

tive attempts to minimize or eliminate the voice of local governments in deciding whether an applicant should benefit from exemption of local ad valorem taxes. After contentious legislative debate and a down-to-thewire vote, those measures failed. Karen White, Executive Counsel, Louisiana Municipal Association, said that local governing bodies understand the advantages of using ITEP as a tool for economic development and are thankful that the potential exemption of their precious local property taxes is now a decision within their control. The statewide associations representing these local bodies, she said, have taken the initiative to collaborate with LED to develop uniform guidance for the evaluation of ITEP applications to provide consistency and predictability in the process, while simultaneously retaining the flexibility to make decisions tailored to the needs of their respective communities. •

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Admiral Mark H. Buzby and PSL Director Paul Aucoin

PORT OF SOUTH LOUISIANA AWARDED $13 MILLION FEDER AL TR ANSPORTATION GR ANT BY WILLIAM KALEC

Grant is slated for improvements at the Port’s public facility, Globalplex Intermodal Terminal

I

n February 2020, Congressman Garrett Graves announced that the Port of South Louisiana was awarded a $13.4 million federal port infrastructure development grant for improvements at Globalplex Intermodal Terminal. The project submitted for consideration and subsequent award is fully intermodal in that it will include a new heavy capacity dock access bridge, an access road, a rail spur, and a dry storage area with conveyors to move bulk material.

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“These grant funds will go a long way to assist the Port with many very important multi-modal projects,” says Executive Director Paul Aucoin. “We want to thank Senators Cassidy and Kennedy, and Congressmen Graves, Scalise, and Richmond for their support and assistance. The Port also appreciates the confidence Secretary Elaine Chao has in the Port in awarding us this multi-modal grant.” “Our ports are an integral component of our Nation’s economic success,” said Secretary of Transportation Elaine

Chao. “As the Administration continues to invest in America’s infrastructure, this program will further modernize and improve the efficiency of our waterways.” These improvements will allow efficient transportation and storage of bulk and breakbulk material by rail, water, and truck that will complement projects currently underway, including dock reinforcement and new mobile harbor cranes, and stimulate nearby industrial development by allowing the dry storage and transloading of various construction materials. •


C O M PA N Y P R O F I L E

C RYS TAL CLE AR BY MISTY MILIOTO

Relocating from Mid-City to the Port of South Louisiana was an obvious choice for Baumer Foods, Inc., following Hurricane Katrina.

D

uring Hurricane Katrina, when f loodwaters inundated New Orleans, the Baumer Foods, Inc., headquarters in Mid-City suffered massive devastation. The company — known for its Crystal Pure Louisiana Hot Sauce — relocated its manufacturing facilities upriver to the Port of South Louisiana, which is located nine feet above sea level in Reserve. As it turns out, the move was beneficial for a number of reasons. The story begins in 1923 when Alvin Baumer, Sr., borrowed money from his future father-inlaw to purchase what was then known as Mills Fruit Products. Also included with the sale of this small sno-ball syrup company was the recipe for a hot sauce made with cayenne peppers. As word of the tangy and bright Crystal Pure Louisiana Hot Sauce spread, the company experienced incredible growth and changed its name to Baumer Foods, Inc., in the 1940s. During this time, the company decided to move headquarters from Tchoupitoulas Street to a larger 120,000-square-foot plant (with 50,000 square feet for production) on Tulane Avenue in Mid-City. Baumer Foods, Inc., not only produced Crystal Hot Sauce here, but also made preserves and jellies that American soldiers enjoyed as part of troop-issued combat

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rations during World War II. It was also during this time that the building’s iconic neon sign became a New Orleans landmark. After the end of the war, the company began to market the hot sauce — as well as canned goods, olive oil, mustard, and other sauces and condiments — outside of the New Orleans Area. Business continued to boom with all of the products being produced at this facility until August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Crescent City. Along with the billions of gallons of water that f looded the city came the destruction of the Baumer Foods, Inc., building and that famous neon sign. Baumer Foods, Inc., halted production and used contract packers to supply its needs until the company was able to resume business. “We started production in the first quarter of 2007 at our new facility at the Port of South Louisiana in Reserve,” says Alvin Baumer, Jr., current CEO of Baumer Foods, Inc. “We were able to salvage and rebuild virtually all of our production equipment, and about 50 percent of our packing and raw material inventory was able to be used.” The company also had a replica of the neon sign made that now sits atop an apartment building located on the same site as the old factory in Mid-City. The company chose to relocate

to the Port of South Louisiana primarily because the existing facility was able to accommodate its needs. “The fact that it was on higher ground and offered more space for storage, production and truck loading, also were key factors,” Baumer, Jr., says. “The location offered much easier access to I-10 for outbound and inbound freight.” The new facility comprises nearly 190,000 square feet (with 80,000 square feet for production), all at dock level. Another benef it of the new facility is having everything under one roof, whereas the company needed to use an offsite f inished goods warehouse when it was located in Mid-City. “If we were to incorporate additional shifts as sales increased, we could produce about 40 to 50 percent more than our current needs,” Baumer, Jr., says. “Our new location provides much more space than we had in New Orleans. We were able to lay out our production and processing areas in a much more efficient manner. We also have had a very harmonious relationship with the Port of South Louisiana. They have worked well with us in meeting our requirements. Just last year, we had an unannounced audit from the FDA where we had to make some improvements to our f loors. Paul Aucoin, [executive


C O M PA N Y P R O F I L E

Baumer Signing

director at the Port of South Louisiana], and the Port worked with us and helped us out in a big way. And Joey Oubre, Port Facility Maintenance Manager, is Johnny-on-the-spot to come to our aid when we have any issues whatsoever with the property.” While Baumer Foods, Inc., stopped making jellies and preserves after Hurricane Katrina — sales were declining in the category and it didn’t make sense to relocate the production equipment — the family-owned company has become one of

the fastest growing condiment manufacturers in the country. Baumer Foods, Inc., produces about 4.5 million gallons of Crystal Pure Louisiana Hot Sauce annually that is distributed throughout the United States and to more than 75 countries across the globe. The company also has branched out into other products, including Crystal Buffalo Wing, Worcestershire, Steak and Asian sauces, and Figaro Liquid Smoke. “We produce about 860,000 cases of assorted Crystal and private label products annually,” Baumer, Jr.,

says. “We are projecting to export approximately 1 million cases of product through the Port of South Louisiana in 2020.” From the port perspective, Baumer is not merely a welcome addition to the area because of increased business — Port Executive Director Paul Aucoin says they’re simply excited to work with a company that produces such an esteemed line of goods. “We are pleased to have a company so well-known operating from our port,” Aucoin says. “They make excellent products.” •

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P O R Ts i d e

P E O P LE OF T HE POR T DUKE MORROW For ten years, Duke Morrow has been part of the Port of South Louisiana team as a Fire Tug Deckhand. He brings his years of experience with the US Navy to the Port’s Marine Operations department and believes that, “Quality happens only when you care enough to do your best.” In his free time, he enjoys reading, woodworking and spending time with his wife.

JARED PAUL MABILE Jared Paul Mabile started at the Port as Fire Tug Captain in 2010 and has been in the role ever since. This longevity is due to Jared’s relationship with the Port of South Louisiana, which he says is a great place to work. And boating is not just his profession: he also enjoys going out on the water with his family and sharing his passion for the outdoors.

DALE HYMEL, JR. Dale Hymel, Jr. has been a valuable member of the Port team since 2012, having previously worked as Special Projects Officer before moving into his current role as Chief Operating Officer. Outside of work, he enjoys running and loves spending time with his grandchildren.

TAMARA KENNEDY Tamara Kennedy has been working in Human Resources for more than 20 years, after beginning her career with the Civil service department for the City of Denver, Colorado. Now, she serves as the Human Resources Director at the Port, a position she’s held since 2014. Her favorite hobbies outside of work are training for Track and Field and reading.

CAPTAIN RICHIE ZITO Fire Tug Captain Richie Zito joined the Port team in 2014 after working in private sector as a captain for 13 years. A native of St. Bernard Parish, Richie’s other passions include motocross and classic import cars.

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P O R Tr a i t s

RREDI WASHINGTON MARDI GRAS BREAKFAST

St. James Parish Councilman Clyde Cooper

PSL Commissioner Joey Murray

PSL Executive Director Paul Aucoin

Congressman Ralph Abraham

Senator Bill Cassidy

Congressman Garret Graves

Congressman Cedric Richmond

St. Charles Parish President Matt Jewell

St. John the Baptist Parish President Jaclyn Hotard

Political and business leaders from around the state gathered for The River Region Economic Development Initiative breakfast as they were afforded a chance to hear from the congressional delegation and elected officials.

St. James Parish President Pete Dufresne

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P O R Tr a i t s

RREDI WASHINGTON MARDI GRAS B REAKFAST Pictured right (L-R, T-B): Congressman Garret Graves, State Representative Gregory Miller, Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller, State Senator Gary Smith, Jr., St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper, St. Charles Parish President Matt Jewell, PSL Commission Chairman D. Paul Robichaux, PSL Commissioner Joey Murray, St. John the Baptist Parish President Jaclyn Hotard, St. James Parish President Pete Dufresne, PSL Executive Director Paul Aucoin Pictured below: (left)Executive Director Paul Aucoin was the keynote speaker at the River Region Chamberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Membership Meeting Breakfast (right) Executive Director Paul Aucoin pictured with Aspen Murphy, RRCC Chair and Chassity McComack, Director of RRCC

Members of the Port of South Louisiana attend the GNO, Inc. Annual Luncheon. (L-R): Chief Operating Officer Dale Hymel, Asst. Director of Business Development Julia Fisher-Perrier, Deputy Director Roy Quezaire, Executive Director Paul Aucoin, and Director of Special Projects Joel Chaisson.

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P O R Tr a i t s

MARAD PID GRANT AWARD PRESENTATION At a ceremony held at the Port of South Louisiana’s Globalplex, community leaders gathered for a formal check presentation for a grant awarded through MARAD.

Pictured on the Port of South Louisiana’s cargo dock: PSL Commission Chairman D. Paul Robichaux; Admiral Mark. H. Buzby, US Maritime Administrator (MARAD); Senator Bill Cassidy; Congressman Garret Graves; State Senator Gary Smith, Jr.; PSL Commissioner Joey Murray; Director Paul Aucoin

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P O R T O W N E D FA C I L I T I E S

GLO BALPLEX INT ERMO DAL T ERMINA L 155 West 10th Street, Reserve, La. 70084 P.O. Box 909, LaPlace, La. 70069 phone : 985-652-9278 fax : 985-653-0798 e - mail : info@portsl.com web : www.portsl.com contact ( s ): Paul Aucoin, Executive Director; Roy Quezaire, Deputy Director location : River mile 138.5 equipment : Two Manitowoc 2250 rail-mounted gantry cranes; 100,000-pound capacity weighing scale for trucks; 100,000 square foot warehouse; 72,000-sq. foot, and 40,000-sq. foot transit shed; and a 177,000 sq. foot paved open storage pad dock : 204 ft. x 660 ft. with upstream and downstream mooring dolphins. allow for dockage of panamax size vessels; 700 ft x 65 ft finger pier general cargo operators associated terminals ph : 985-536-4520 address :

mailing address :

GLO BALPLEX BULK DO CK P.O. Box 909, LaPlace, La. 70069 985-652-9278 fax : 985-653-0798 e - mail : info@portsl.com web : www.portsl.com contact ( s ): Paul Aucoin, Executive Director; Roy Quezaire, Deputy Director location : River mile 138.5 function : Transfer and store bulk, primarily cement fluorspar limestone and wood chips equipment : An 800 tons-per-hour continuous Carlsen ship unloader, a 1,800 tons-per-hour ship-loading system, 100,000 tons of cement storage in two storage domes, 70,000 tons of storage for flourspar in an A-frame building and approximately nine acres of paved open storage for wood chips and other products. dock : 507’ x 44’ with upstream and downstream mooring buoys to allow for panamax-size vessels mailing address : phone :

ADM RES ERVE 2032 La. Highway 44, Reserve, La. 70084 985-536-1151 fax : 985-536-1152 web : ADMWorld.com contact ( s ): Mike Landry, generale manager of commercial operations location : River mile 139.2 function : Grain export elevator. other : Fully automated address : phone :

PO RT O F S O UT H LO UIS IANA EX EC UT IVE REGIO NAL AIRPO RT mailing address : physical

P.O. Box 909, La Place, La. 70069-0909

A ddress : 355 Airport Road, Reserve, La. 70084

985-652-9278 portsl.com/airport-services email : psl-era@portsl.com contact : Lisa Braud, Airport Director location : N30° 05.25’, W30°34.97 phone : web :

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P O R T O W N E D FA C I L I T I E S

PLAINS MARKET ING L .P. 6410 Plains Terminal Road, St. James, La. 70086 Craig Ellinwood phone : 225-265-2353 fax : 225-265-3171 web : PAALP.com location : Mile marker 158.6 function : Storage of petroleum products. address :

terminal manager :

S O LAPO RT West Bank industrial site acquired for development into an industrial park located adjacent to Dow in St. Charles Parish. Paul Aucoin (985) 652-9278

contact : phone :

MPLX L.P. (PIN O AK T ERMINAL S) 4006 Highway 44, Mt. Airy, La. 70076 Gregg Qualls phone : 504-533-8783 web : PinOakTerminals.com location : Mile marker 144.1 function : Storage of petroleum products. address :

contact :

PS L WES T BANK S T. J A M E S Paul Aucoin (985) 652-9278

contact : phone :

Property acquired for development.

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INDUSTRY MAP

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FINAL FRAME

Associated Terminal’s stevedores on the mighty Mississippi River at the Port of South Louisiana’s cargo dock.

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SS PP RR II N NG G 22 00 22 00 || PP O O RR TT O O FF SS O OU U TT H H LL O OU U II SS II A AN NA A


Profile for Renaissance Publishing

Port Log Spring 2020  

Port Log Spring 2020