PORT OF LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA, U.S. — Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced on March 31 that IFG Port Holdings is building a new, state-of-the-art export grain terminal at the Port of Lake Charles. The announcement was made following agreements among IFG Port Holding, the Port of Lake Charles, the state of Louisiana and the Union Pacific Railroad.

The project represents a capital investment by IFG of $59.5 million and will create at least 36 new direct jobs. IFG expects to begin construction on the terminal immediately and will require at least 200 construction workers. Upon completion, the facility will handle agricultural products, such as Louisiana rice, wheat, corn, soybeans and dried distiller grain for shipment to other countries. The product entering the new grain terminal will originate from across the country and is expected to increase U.S. agricultural exports through Southwest Louisiana.

"This will be the first new export grain terminal developed in the state of Louisiana in over 25 years, and will connect Southwest Louisiana to the nation’s grain export system, making the Port of Lake Charles a premier export point for grains,” said Kabir Ahmad, chief executive officer (CEO) of IFG. "Through the development of enhanced rail capacity, the Port will be better equipped to compete amongst the nation’s ports. The facility will create good jobs and help IFG achieve our long-term goal of developing a global supply-chain for grains and agricultural products.”

The Port of Lake Charles will invest $10.1 million to install a loop track to handle IFG’s unit trains for the project.

"The IFG Port Holdings new export grain terminal represents a multi-million dollar economic investment that continues the critical historical role of the Port of Lake Charles and its transportation infrastructure in the Southwest Louisiana agricultural community,” said President of the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District Board of Commissioners Wade Shaddock.

The project also includes an upgraded rail connection to the new bulk grain elevator at the Port. Union Pacific will support the project with $6 million in rail infrastructure improvements, and additional funding provided by the state will improve rail capacity and efficiency at the Port.

"This investment will allow Union Pacific to better serve customers by expanding our network for exporting grain and grain products," said Jim Young, chairman and CEO of Union Pacific. "We annually invest billions of dollars in our rail system, and our commitment to this effort demonstrates how important Louisiana is to Union Pacific. This project also serves as a great example of how public-private partnerships can work to support industrial development in Louisiana."