Friday, June 21, 2024

England: It takes water to grow

by BIZ Magazine

Our Port of Caddo-Bossier is growing by leaps and bounds, increasing, and diversifying the area workforce and delivering sound logistical solutions to its customers.  

In fact, the Port’s footprint has doubled in recent years from 2,000 acres to 4,000 acres in Caddo and Bossier Parishes. In large part, the push to expand was initiated after Benteler Steel chose the port site for its 370-acre steel tube manufacturing facility and leased the largest site in the then Port’s inventory.  

The entire Port Complex has been master-planned and primed for future growth, employment, and supply chain fulfillment.  

The Port Commission, along with our area economic development partners, including Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation, BRF and North Louisiana Economic Partnership, recognize having shovel ready/greenfield sites available is the key to recruiting industrial manufacturers and distributors.  

To that end, having the sites alone isn’t enough.  

Large volume water lines, rail spurs, electric substations, natural gas supply lines and transload facilities must be in place to successfully recruit these types of businesses. 

The first two major endeavors for the Port’s newest 2,000-acres include a railroad and the construction of an industrial water line.  Upon reviewing several options to provide water to the newly acquired property, Bossier City was identified as a viable source.  

Years ago, Bossier City made a wise investment and expanded its Red River water treatment plant; ensuring future generations would have an ample supply of water.  In fact, the Bossier City water treatment plant is capable of treating 50 million gallons per day of water.  At maximum demand, typically in the “dog days of summer”, Bossier City sells roughly 20 million gallons of water per day.  Even if Bossier City increases its maximum demand by doubling its population in the coming years, there would still be 10 million gallons a day of excess capacity.  The Port’s water line project has been designed for 10 million gallons per day.

It must be emphasized the water line will be constructed and paid for solely by the Port.  

The Bossier City Council will consider the approval of a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Port on Tuesday, April 4. This is an incredible opportunity for the City of Bossier City.  Notably, the agreement, if approved, provides Bossier City an opportunity to earn (aka profit) some $1.7+ million a year based on the sale of only 3 million gallons per day.  If additional water is sold beyond 3 million gallons per day, Bossier City’s profit is 100% of every dollar earned without incurring any debt whatsoever.  

The Port will not make a penny of profit from this endeavor.  It only seeks to repay the Port’s loan on the water line.  The real profit comes in the form of the thousands of jobs, which will be created for our community. 

Eric England, executive port director of the Port of Caddo-Bossier

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