Archive for the ‘State Port of Gulfport’ Category

DuPont signs new lease at state port

July 11th, 2013 1 comment

DuPont has signed a 30-year lease at the Mississippi State Port of Gulfport that could keep the company there a total of 60 years.

The Mississippi State Port Authority announced the move Thursday. The 30-year lease has three, 10-year renewal options.

Under the agreement, DuPont will relocate its current ore receiving and storage operation to the southern end of the west pier.

Port director Jonathan Daniels said in a press release the pact requires DuPont to increase its annual tonnage a minimum of 29 percent.

“This expansion will certainly support our restoration efforts and job growth at the Port of Gulfport and DuPont’s DeLisle facility.

The new ore receiving and storage unit, whose construction is scheduled to start next year, will serve DuPont’s facility in DeLisle, which has been in operation since 1979. The facility produces titanium dioxide used in paints, inks, paper, textile fibers and plastics.

The Port Commission will contribute between $23 million and $80 million in construction costs.

“The DuPont expansion and long term lease at the Port of Gulfport shows the company’s confidence in the long term potential of the port,” said Mississippi Development Authority executive director Brent Christensen. “As we continue to invest in the port, we expect to see more companies take DuPont’s lead and expand or locate their operations at the facility, creating more job opportunities for Mississippi workers.”

Commission names new state port director

April 29th, 2013 No comments

Jonathan Daniels has been named the new executive director of the Mississippi State Port Authority in Gulfport.

The Mississippi State Port Authority revealed Monday morning that Daniels will replace Don Allee, who resigned last year in the middle of some controversy about the port’s expansion. Daniels comes to Mississippi from the Port of Oswego in upstate New York. He had been there since 2007.

He is familiar with the Gulf South region, having served as managing director of the Port of Greater Baton Rouge before heading to the Northeast. Daniels will start in mid-June.

“We are very pleased to be successful in landing a person with the experience and credentials of Jonathan Daniels,” said Jim Simpson, port commission president. “Jonathan has port management, international trade and economic development experience and that is the ideal combination of skill sets we need in a leader.”

Port commissioners started searching for Allee’s permanent replacement inDecember. Allee had been at the port 11 years, but resigned in October in the middle of some disagreement over a few details of the port’s $570 million expansion paid for by Hurricane Katrina relief money.

The expansion reached a milestone earlier this month when the last load of “fill” was dumped on the west pier. The project’s completion date, which to go with filling the west pier will include deepening the port’s channel to 45 feet, is scheduled for 2015. The expansion will add around 1,300 jobs, to go with the 1,200 already employed there. Officials still hope it can attract as many large ships carrying textiles, automotive parts and fruit to Europe and Asia.

Port revitalization to reach milestone Wednesday

April 9th, 2013 No comments

Gov. Phil Bryant will be on hand Wednesday as the last truckload of “fill” is dumped on the west pier of the Port of Gulfport.

The 11 a.m. ceremony will mark a major milestone for the 80-acre fill project that’s part of the port’s overall restoration after Hurricane Katrina.

The project originally began as a much larger venture, with a $500 million price tag and designs on attracting megaships bound for Asia.

Those plans changed last summer, when port commissioners revealed that wouldn’t be possible once the Panama Canal is widened.

The project’s completion date, which to go with filling the west pier will include deepening the port’s channel to 45 feet, is scheduled for 2015.

The project has been a source of controversy since its inception. Former Gov. Haley Barbour was criticized by housing advocates and community activists for diverting Katrina-related recovery money from housing efforts to the port. Officials eventually diverted about $160 million originally meant for the port to housing programs. Federal guidelines attached to Katrina money allowed some funds earmarked for things like housing to be used for economic development.

As it is, the port’s job creation estimates hover around 1,300, to go with the 1,200 already employed there. Officials still hope it can attract as many large ships carrying textiles, automotive parts and fruit to Europe and Asia.

Categories: Phil Bryant, State Port of Gulfport Tags:

State Port reopens after collision in shipping channel

May 23rd, 2011 No comments

There’s a story we wrote for this week’s Mississippi Business Journal that takes a look at the possibility the State Port of Gulfport could see some increased ship traffic due to flooding issues at the Port of New Orleans.

Mississippi’s port was shut down entirely late last week for something that had nothing to do with flooding or New Orleans, after a 660-foot container vessel collided with a 163-foot pogy boat owned by Texas-based Omega Protein. The pogy boat sank. Three of the 16 crew drowned; their bodies were recovered over the weekend.

Here’s where the port comes in: The two vessels were in the Gulf Shipping Channel when they collided, so instead of continuing toward Texas, it circled back to the port’s harbor as authorities sorted out exactly what happened. While dive crews searched for the crew members, the U.S. Coast Guard shut down all inbound and outbound traffic at the port.

Don Allee, executive director of the Mississippi State Port Authority, told Magnolia Marketplace Monday morning that the Coast Guard decided early Sunday morning to reopen the port with restrictions. The main restriction, Allee said, limited ship traffic to daylight hours only.

The restriction will most likely remain in place until the sunken pogy boat is either recovered or moved out of the GSC.

“It’s probably safe to say that once the vessel is removed, normal operations will continue,” Allee said, estimating that would happen within the week, though the exact timetable is strictly up to the Coast Guard. He added that the port does have lighted buoys that could line the GSC “under perfect conditions” that would allow nighttime shipping.

Two vessels were scheduled to arrive Monday at the port, and they  had already been given the all-clear from the Coast Guard, Allee said. The Eurus London, the container ship involved in the collision, left Gulfport Sunday morning with its load of bananas headed for Texas.

“The sunken boat doesn’t prevent much from happening,” Allee said.

Categories: 2011 flood, News, State Port of Gulfport Tags: