By Lori LeBlanc, LMOGA Offshore Committee Director for BIC Magazine
The Lake Charles area is recognized as a hub for the petrochemical industry, serving as home to several national and world leaders in oil refining and chemical manufacturing such as Citgo, Phillips 66 and Alcoa. Southwest Louisiana may soon expand this impressive industrial profile into the world of offshore oil and gas production with the addition of a significant new deep-water port.
Port Cameron, LLC is developing a 500-acre private, deep-water staging port in Cameron Parish on the Calcasieu Ship Channel just south of Lake Charles that, upon completion, will be the largest private energy services facility along the Gulf Coast. In July of this year, the project achieved an important milestone when Petersen Offshore Group, BV, a European-based logistics management company signed a letter of intent to lease 1.2 million square feet in the planned Port Cameron Logistics Center, where Petersen will manage port operations and logistics for the port and its tenants.
When complete, Port Cameron will feature more than 21,000 linear feet of bulkhead lots on dredged slips at 500 and 700 feet wide and 33 feet deep strategically located three miles from the Gulf of Mexico, 19 miles from the Intracoastal Canal 50 miles from Interstate 10, and within 185 miles of Houston. According to developers, the port’s location will offer operators, drilling companies and service companies a savings of up to 50 percent compared to land freight costs for transporting goods, materials and supplies to and from the Port of Houston and rigs and platforms in the Western Gulf. It’s another example of Louisiana’s uniquely strong position in delivering the oil and gas that fuels America.
While the facility will support the oil and gas industry, that’s only the beginning. The economic impact the deep-water port is expected to generate will also support families and communities throughout the region and our state. In fact, the port is expected to attract more than $5.4 billion in private investment in five years. Here are just a few more economic benefits of Port Cameron identified by Louisiana-based economic consulting firm Loren C. Scott & Associates, Inc.:
- Over a four-year construction period, an annual average of 8,143 Cameron Parish jobs and 21,249 Louisiana jobs will be created.
- Once fully constructed, 3,860 new jobs will be created in Cameron Parish, effectively doubling employment in that parish, and 9,930 jobs in Louisiana.
- Construction will generate nearly $1.6 billion in new household earnings in Cameron Parish and $3.8 billion for Louisiana residents.
- Once operation, the port will generate $276.2 million in new household earnings in Cameron Parish and $542.2 million in Louisiana.
- In the first five years of operation, Port Cameron will generate $462 million in net tax revenue for the State of Louisiana
With Port Cameron, Louisiana has a tremendous opportunity to develop a new deep-water private investment port in Cameron Parish strategically positioned to serve the western Gulf and create jobs and tax revenues for our entire state. LMOGA welcomes the new industrial representation this would bring to southwest Louisiana, the support it would offer to our offshore operators, and the economic benefits that would be enjoyed by Louisianans everywhere.