AVONDALE, La. — The Jefferson Parish Council passed a resolution on Wednesday with all members voting in favor of a bond request from the Port of South Louisiana to purchase the Avondale Global Gateway.
The Port of South Louisiana entered a $445 million agreement in January to purchase the 254-acre Avondale Global Gateway.
The shipyard sits on a key region of the Mississippi River, near the Huey P. Long Bridge. The area had been owned by T. Parker Host, a Virginia-based company.
Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng called the plan a boon for the local economy.
“Avondale was once a bustling hub of activity that generated good paying jobs and funding for schools, infrastructure and public safety,” Sheng said. “The expansion of the Port of South Louisiana will revive Avondale and could be the gold standard for port activity.”
Paul Matthews, the CEO of the Port of South Louisiana described the Avondale shipyard as Louisiana’s greatest industrial icon.
“This acquisition establishes Avondale Global Gateway as a permanent economic development arm of the State of Louisiana,” Matthews said in January. “The Port is laser-focused on expanding our operations and bringing prosperity to the Southeast Louisiana region.”
Port of South Louisiana CEO Paul Matthews says the port will focus on “trying to attract new cargo to Avondale that includes railroad vessels, car manufacturing, and to really play a role in renewable energy.” He believes the port’s resources and reach will help attract investors to Avondale.
“This is a win-win for everyone in the region,” said Matthews.
Leaders in the business community agree. “As the site continues to grow, to attract more investment, it’s going to mean more job opportunities,” said Jerry Bologna, CEO of the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission.
He elaborated on the port’s plan to focus on renewable energy. Besides the potential for shipping fuels, rechargeable batteries, and electric cars, the site “sets up great for the manufacture and shipping of wind blades into the gulf and out into the world,” he said.