Moving Forward with a Purpose

From The Front Lines
chett chiasson

It is certainly an honor and privilege to share the latest update from the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and Port Fourchon.

Not only did we return to 100-percent of our operational and physical capabilities as an agency in 2023, but we also had some huge announcements that bode well for the future of both the GLPC and Port Fourchon.

Among them was Crowley Offshore Wind Services signing a Right of First Refusal on a large tract of bulkheaded property on Slip C to a historic purchase agreement paving the way for the GLPC to acquire more than 850 acres in Port Fourchon.

moving forward with a purpose

I fully expect the property under Right of First Refusal will soon be leased as Crowley works with prospective businesses interested in teaming up with their leadership group to begin the process of developing the Gulf region’s first purpose-driven offshore wind facility.

Meanwhile, the agreement to purchase the Caillouet Land acreage is a deal that not only brought about additional leases and revenue for the GLPC, but also is serving as a key catalyst for us in building a bridge and connector road to our Fourchon Island project.

Fourchon Island is a project that will provide more expansive industrial access to the Gulf of Mexico through its unique configuration and development plan.

Along with this purchase came the news that the Caillouet family would donate 165 acres of property to the State of Louisiana with the intention the state will ultimately create its 22nd state park on the southernmost tip of Lafourche Parish in Port Fourchon.

Outside of all these announcements, work continues on the Airport Bridge and Connector as well as the LA 1 elevated highway projects.

moving forward with a purpose

This year will also see the beginning of a major dredging project that will add depth to our existing channels.

Another big-ticket item is the anticipated start of meaningful development on Fourchon Island in the form of a new bridge and connector road.

The project has us working with several tenants and users of the port to develop and expand our footprint. While it is several years from being completed, it will most certainly bring about further opportunities for Port Fourchon in the future.

The first step is reconnecting our existing highway (A.O. Rappelet Road) with the land across from it. We used to have an old bridge there that connected the road to this land area. Unfortunately, due to the age of the bridge it had to be remove several years ago.

However, as we wrap up the permitting work, it is our intention to go out to bid to build a new bridge and connector road at this location sometime this year.

If this weren’t enough, we have a company called Argent LNG that has signed a lease on our 150 acre site immediately across from our future Fourchon Island project.

This development seems promising as well as we keep telling our message of being a port and agency that believes in an “all of the above” energy approach for our region and country.

Speaking of “all of the above,” we just recently signed a lease agreement with Gulf Wind Technology to place the first wind turbine in the state of Louisiana in Port Fourchon.

moving forward with a purpose

This 187-foot wind turbine will be used primarily for data collection purposes, but will also have the added ability to potentially provide some off-take capabilities where power generated from the turbine can help aid in the powering of several of our nearby port-owned buildings and even elements of our Coastal Wetlands Park.

Our Coastal Wetlands Park and Recreation Area is continuing to develop at the entrance of Port Fourchon. Thanks to a grant award we will add more items to this one-of-kind park in the coming year.

Please understand that none of these endeavors would be possible without having a supportive and productive Board of Commissioners, dedicated staff, and amazing community.

On a closing note, as we march forward in to 2024 I feel as confident as ever that additional announcements will not only demonstrate how Port Fourchon is far from done, but rather prove the point we are forging ahead with a great sense of purpose as we embark on a prosperous future with our current tenants serving as the backbone upon which all these amazing opportunities will surely flourish in the years to come.