Project to create 250 total new jobs and generate more than $59.5 million capital investment
LAKE CHARLES, La. -- Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal joined IFG Port Holdings LLC CEO Kabir Ahmad and Union Pacific Railroad Chairman and CEO Jim Young to announce the state, Port of Lake Charles, IFG and Union Pacific have finalized agreements necessary for IFG to launch a new, state-of-the-art export grain terminal at the Port of Lake Charles, the first of its kind to be built in the Gulf Coast region in about 25 years.
The project represents a capital investment by IFG of $59.5 million and will create at least 36 new direct jobs. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the 36 new direct jobs will result in approximately 20 new indirect jobs. IFG expects to begin construction on the terminal immediately and will require at least 200 construction workers.
"This new grain terminal at the Port of Lake Charles will have a significant impact in the region, as well as our entire state, by creating quality jobs and increasing agricultural exports through the region," said Gov. Jindal. "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has recognized Louisiana as one of the top export performers in the country, and this announcement illustrates why Louisiana continues its steady climb up the major national business climate and economic rankings. This project also will provide an attractive, new market option for Louisiana farmers and millers."
Upon completion, the facility will handle agricultural products, such as Louisiana rice, wheat, corn, soybeans and dried distillers grain for shipment to other countries. The product entering the new grain terminal will originate from across the country and is expected to increase U.S. agricultural exports through Southwest Louisiana.
"This will be the first new export grain terminal developed in the state of Louisiana in over 25 years, and will connect Southwest Louisiana to the nation's grain export system, making the Port of Lake Charles a premier export point for grains," said Ahmad. "Through the development of enhanced rail capacity, the port will be better equipped to compete amongst the nation's ports. The facility will create good jobs and help IFG achieve our long-term goal of developing a global supply-chain for grains and agricultural products."
The project also includes an upgraded rail connection to a new bulk grain elevator at the port. Union Pacific will support the project with up to $6 million in rail infrastructure improvements, and additional funding provided by the state will improve rail capacity and efficiency at the port.
"This investment will allow Union Pacific to better serve customers by expanding our network for exporting grain and grain products," said Young. "We annually invest billions of dollars in our rail system, and our commitment to this effort demonstrates how important Louisiana is to Union Pacific. This project also serves as a great example of how public-private partnerships can work to support industrial development in Louisiana."
The state is providing $12 million in capital outlay funding that will be utilized to upgrade rail tracks, switches and signals to support the new grain terminal, as well as existing and future tenants, and an additional $6 million investment through the Port Priority Program. IFG also will utilize Louisiana's Quality Jobs Program, which provides a 5 percent to 6 percent rebate on new payroll expenses.
"IFG considered multiple ports in the Gulf Coast region before selecting the Port of Lake Charles," said LED Secretary Stephen Moret. "Its decision to make a considerable investment in our state illustrates that we have the right combination of infrastructure, economic development incentives and workforce to meet the needs of growing companies."
The Port of Lake Charles will invest $4.1 million to support the project.
"The IFG Port Holdings new export grain terminal represents a multi-million dollar economic investment that continues the critical historical role of the Port of Lake Charles and its transportation infrastructure in the Southwest Louisiana agricultural community," said President of the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District Board of Commissioners Wade Shaddock.
IFG is a global investment firm headquartered in New York. IFG specializes in developing, funding and operating infrastructure projects with a focus on agribusiness and port-related investments.
Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and provides Americans with a fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly and safe mode of freight transportation. Union Pacific connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico. For more information, visit www.up.com.