LA (STL.News) Gov. John Bel Edwards, Port of Iberia Executive Director Craig Romero and Turner Industries President Stephen Toups announced the company’s selection of a 95-acre Port of Iberia site for future fabrication of modules and related services in the energy sector and other industries.
Baton Rouge-based Turner Industries, one of the nation’s largest industrial construction firms, completed an extensive search of 30 potential port locations along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico prior to selecting the Port of Iberia for its sixth permanent Louisiana site and 13th site companywide. Extensive facilities with fabrication bays, overhead crane capacity, warehousing, office space and bulkhead accessing the port’s commercial canal contributed to Turner’s selection of the Louisiana site.
“More than a generation ago, this Port of Iberia site fabricated exploration and production equipment for the largest oilfield in the continent on Alaska’s North Slope,” Gov. Edwards said. “Today, we are positioning Louisiana to continue to be a strong oil and gas leader, while also positioning our state for opportunities in emerging fields of energy production. This Port of Iberia location, coupled with the capabilities of Turner Industries, will help Louisiana expand our leadership in energy, chemicals and other sectors for generations to come.”
With locations in Baton Rouge, Port Allen, Geismar, Sulphur and New Orleans, Turner Industries employs 10,000 people across Louisiana and 18,000 companywide. In New Iberia, the port offers unobstructed access to its commercial canal, with the ability for Turner Industries to fabricate and transport industrial modules of up to 5,000 tons for key commercial customers.
“We’re excited to be a tenant of the port as we continue providing one solution for our clients’ success with the opening of the new Turner Industries Gulf of Mexico Operations,” Toups said. “When looking to expand our capabilities and services, Turner Industries considered available properties across the Gulf South and Eastern Seaboard. The flexibility and consistency of the diligent team at the port led to a simple decision. The Port of Iberia is the best strategic option for our company’s future operations.”
Turner Industries plans to occupy the Port of Iberia location via a long-term lease beginning in May. Future capital investment and job creation by the company at the Port of Iberia will follow new construction orders added to Turner Industries’ existing portfolio of projects.
A crucial ingredient in the company’s Port of Iberia selection is the current Acadiana Gulf of Mexico Access Channel project, which will lower major crude oil and natural gas pipelines crossing the port’s access to the Gulf. With approximately $35 million of state funding, the AGMAC project will deepen the channel’s draft from 12 to 16 feet, with future authorization to 20 feet. The deeper channel will allow movement of heavier modules and equipment to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Bulkhead improvements completed at the Port of Iberia also will enable the fabrication and shipment of heavier structures by Turner Industries and other tenants.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Port of Iberia,” Romero said. “The fact that Turner Industries chose the Port of Iberia over 29 other coastal ports speaks to how important our port infrastructure is. This will be a tremendous opportunity for all of Acadiana, as we support Turner Industries in securing the most significant industrial construction opportunities of the future.”