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Wednesday, September 26, 2018



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Port Fourchon expansion moving forward

Port Fourchon expansion moving forward

Officials with Port Fourchon are moving along with expanding the port’s ability to service the oil and gas industry.

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission is working on a plan to deepen the Belle Pass entrance into Port Fourchon from 26 feet to 50 feet, as well as deepening part of Bayou Lafourche to 50 feet.

A draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be released in April for public comment, and the final statement will be released in the summer, according to the Port Commission.

“What’s so exciting to us about this deeper water development is that it will allow us to truly service the entire industrial life cycle of the assets for our tenants and their customers in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,” said Chett Chiasson, executive director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission.

Once completed, the feasibility study will have to be approved by the secretary of the Army and authorized by Congress to start work to deepen Port Fourchon’s connection to the Gulf.

As part of the project, the commission also wants a deepwater rig repair and refurbishment facility built on Fourchon Island to the east of Belle Pass.

The dredging of Belle Passe and Bayou Lafourche is estimated to cost between $150 million and $250 million, and Chiasson said he was hopeful construction could begin next year.

Ideally, the repair and refurbishment facility will be built and open within the next five to 10 years, he said. Estimates for the cost of construction for the facility have not been completed.

The commission is also planning to use dredged sediment for coastal restoration projects.

“We are just as excited about the opportunities to restore our coast with the sand and sediments we will need to dredge for this project as we are about attracting additional investment in our economy because we know that building wetlands helps us to keep our community and infrastructure protected for generations to come,” Chiasson said.

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Holly Duchmann can be reached at 857-2205 or holly.duchmann@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @holly_evamarie.