NEW IBERIA, La. — One of the nation's largest industrial construction firms, Turner Industries, is setting up shop in Iberia Parish. The company builds and maintains the heavy industrial sector for energy and gas companies.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, Port of Iberia Executive Director Craig Romero and Turner Industries President Stephen Toups announced Friday 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.
The Baton Rouge-based company 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, according to a release from the Governor's Office. 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 addition, trade schools and community colleges like SLCC will be able to benefit as well with hands on experience opportunities.
"It's going to be a big deal. The president of the company was talking about the amount of work that they do with the community college, it's a big deal," said Iberia Parish President Larry Richard.
Fred Mills, State Senator for District 22, added, "The students at SLCC who graduate, we can provide them training, we can provide the job opportunities and it's just a great potential for the area and for future generations."
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, according to the release.
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 $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.
"I'm excited about the new customers that Turner Industries is going to be able to develop, all the work that's going to happen," added Gov. Edwards. "I look for that to really accelerate in the coming years, because there's all sorts of traditional oil and gas work to be done but there's a lot of emphasis on renewables as well."
“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.”
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