The West Calcasieu Port in Louisiana is getting a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to improve port infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
The grant will be matched by $1.1 million in local funds.
The money will be used to add 600 feet of port bulkheads and related improvements on the north side of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The grant money will also be used to install a pad to support heavy-duty cranes.
The port averages daily fleeting of 130 barges, and the crane and bulkhead improvements combined will help it become a more significant player in transporting large industrial modules for the nearby liquefied natural gas industry and related plant construction, West Calcasieu Port Director Lynn Hohensee says.
The port is 1.5 miles west of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, where LNG development and major module traffic is concentrated. It offers 190 acres of useable land 12 miles south of Interstate 10. Features include 7,000 feet of waterfront property on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, bulk potable water, electric and gas utilities, and loading and unloading barge facilities.
In 2018, Congress appropriated $600 million in economic adjustment assistance to the Economic Development Administration for disaster relief and recovery following Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters occurring in 2017. The West Calcasieu Port grant stems from that appropriation.
“This grant is a godsend,” President Dick Kennison of the West Calcasieu Port Board of Commissioners said in the statement. “Without this EDA grant, we would have had to complete this project in pieces over a period of years.”