The food we eat, the furniture we use, the shoes on our feet, the fuel in our cars – there’s no way around it; it all comes through a port. That is exactly what is happening everyday at the port on the river in your region. The Port of South Louisiana, sprawling along 54 miles of the Lower Mississippi River right here in St. Charles, St. James, St. John Parish, is one of the largest tonnage ports in the Western Hemisphere. The work done there is quite literally feeding and fueling the nation and the world.
As America’s leading grain exporter, 60 percent of the nation’s grain comes right through the Port of South Louisiana. The Port is home to seven of the state’s nine grain elevators including ADM, Bungee, Cargill and the world’s largest stand-alone grain terminal, Zen Noh Grain. With conflict in Russian and Ukraine, the world is facing a grain shortage that could affect nearly 400 million people. Farmers and industry are coming up with new technology and solutions everyday to address this crisis and the Port of South Louisiana is ground zero for that movement.
Greenfield Louisiana plans to construct a state-of the-art export grain terminal which will move 11.0+ million metric tons annually of U.S. grown agriculture products, primarily corn, wheat, and soybeans with some throughput from other locally grown specialty crops to the domestic and international export markets. It is important to note that, given the safety protocols and technology innovations that Greenfield Louisiana have designed into the facility and will implement for construction and operations, there will be minimal environmental impacts resulting from the construction of the terminal. An added value to the project will be significant direct economic benefit to the region, including 200 safe, high paying jobs that are up to two (2) times the national average and three (3) times that of the state of Louisiana. This will prove to attract young residents back to the area to build a good life for their families for generations to come as well as provide opportunity for current residents of the area.
With over 26 million tons of crude oil imports per year, three major oil refineries, and 11 petrochemical manufacturing facilities, the Port of South Louisiana has been ranked the second largest energy transfer port in the nation. Getting that fuel from the Port to consumers is especially vital at this time. That’s why important projects such as the recent construction of a six-track rail yard adjacent to Dow Chemical in St. Charles Parish make that transfer even more efficient. The Port also recognizes the energy transition that is happening globally. Along with major investments in renewable energy that are being made at facilities throughout the River Parishes, the Port of South Louisiana has partnered with Greater New Orleans, Inc. to secure funding for refueling stations for low-carbon emission, hydrogen-based methanol-fueled vessels. These will be the first of their kind in the nation.
The Port of South Louisiana is also leading the charge on securing infrastructure investments that will not only benefit the commerce and industry of the Port’s footprint, but for families living throughout the River Parishes. Projects like the construction of a new Reserve interchange on I-10, the reconfiguration of the Highway 90 & I-310 interchange and the widening of Highway 3127 from two lanes to four lanes will alleviate the traffic issues that commuters face everyday and spur economic development for generations to come.
CEO Paul Matthews, who took over the reins of the Port of South Louisiana in January, has made it clear that the Port of South Louisiana has to take a proactive approach to understanding the market trends and how to best position the Port to meet those needs before they happen. With the same shared values of the hardworking people of the River Region, he has assembled a team that recognizes that the Port of South Louisiana has to “Be Ready” so that it never has to “Get Ready.”
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