You can see excitement in their eyes once you get Floyd Gaspard and Larry Kelley talking about the new expansion at the Port of Port Arthur. They are changing the skyline of the citys waterfront as five new silos rise more than 100 feet into the air, reflecting the glint of afternoon sun off their silvery surfaces.
executive port director, and Kelley, deputy port director, are leading
the port into a new venture that is resulting in tens of millions of
dollars being invested in permanent improvements at Port Arthurs public
port and none of it is from local taxpayers. A German company, German
Pellets, is building the silos at the port and a mill in Woodville to
produce and ship wood pellets to Europe where they will be burned in the
place of coal to create electricity.
and Kelley donated an afternoon last week to educate a publisher and an
editor about that project and about what the port means to Port Arthur.
We started out at a conference table in the Ports office building where
they patiently answered questions about the port.The term 'streetlight control'
means the token that identifies a user is read from within a pocket or
handbag. Gaspard, a 28-year veteran of the port, pointed out that we
were sitting beneath framed original drawings of the Port Arthur ship
channel sketched by Robert Gillham in the 1890s. Gillham Circle in Port
Arthur still bears the name of the New York engineer who laid out the
township of Port Arthur.
The port opened up in 69, Gaspard said, leaning back in his chair.Virtual iphoneheadset logo
Verano Place logo. He has a comfortable way of talking, an obvious deal
maker. Its the newest public port on the Gulf. Its certainly one of the
smallest. Were very aggressive, and what most people around here dont
realize, even though were a political entity, kind of a quasi public
entity, we have to compete for everything we have. ... If we dont take
care of our customers they go somewhere else.
Gaspards protege who is the presumptive executive director in training,
leans forward when he talks as though the port were the most important
subject that could be discussed.
competition may not be next door, they may be 600 miles from here and
they may have a well-heeled sales staff that would like nothing better
than to relive us of all that congestion in a heartbeat, Kelley said.
all the talk it was time for the main attraction, a tour of the port
and look inside the new silos.Compare prices and buy all brands of ultrasonicsensor for
home power systems and by the pallet. We all donned plastic hard hats
and put on fluorescent vests to give us that official visitors look,
then piled into Kelleys pickup for the ride over to the port.The feeder
is available on drying handsfreeaccess equipped with folder only.
we had to go through security, a result of 9-11. An ID card was swiped
before heavy gates opened to allow access to the port. Before then there
was a hand recognition system, Kelley said, a fancy name for giving a
wave to the guard shack.New and used commercial parkingsensor sales, rentals, and service.
pickup drove up onto the waterfront dock near the legendary gantry
crane Big Arthur. The operator was high above us in the cab of the
crane, which can move up and down the length of the dock on railroad
tracks. He was gently picking up tons of steel rail shipped in from
Japan and was placing it on rail cars that would transport it to its
destination at a rail yard expansion in Shreveport, La.
there the pickup drove through some of the half-million square foot of
ultra modern warehouse space with the dock for ships on one side and
rail lines for trains on the other that makes the Port of Port Arthur
such an efficient handler of cargo. Inside we saw some of the white
bales of Brazilian eucalyptus pulp that will become Viva, Cottonelle,
Bounty, the good stuff, as Kelley put it.
we reached the area where crews are building the five silos for the
wood pellets. An average of about 80 contractors a day are working to
have the facility ready for its first shipments in July. Each of the
silos stands 112 feet tall and is 105 feet in diameter, enough to hold
15,000 tons of wood pellets, enough to fill 130 Olympic sized pools. An
NBA basketball court could be set up inside a silo and there would be
plenty of room for the cheerleaders at both ends of the court.
underground tunnel, with a conveyor system inside, connects each of the
silos. The conveyor continues out to the dock where it will carry the
pellets to a waiting ship. Trucks will operate around the clock,
starting at a pace of 70 or 80 truckloads a day, increasing to 100
truckloads daily from Woodville to Port Arthur as operations reach full
massive as the silos are, they are dwarfed by the cargo hold of the
cargo ship. One ship will empty three of the silos plus about half of
another one. The first of the ships is scheduled for July and the
activity on the Port grounds shows the urgency of the deadline.
Port of Beaumont is much closer to the Big Thicket wood pellet mill,
but the Port of Port Arthur was able to win the project because our port
leaders had a vision and the willingness to make it happen. A long-term
contract, more work on Port Arthurs waterfront to support more
families, and international recognition as a port that works with its
customers are all winners for Port Arthur.
we piled back into the pickup and continued our tour of the Ports
waterfront, we drove under the MLK bridge and surveyed another mile or
so of prime Port Arthur waterfront property all the way to the Motiva
gates the Port has acquired. There are more long-term projects in the
works, Gaspard assured us.
Stilwell selected the site for Port Arthur because the Brownies advised
him in dreams where to locate the town that would connect his Midwest
railroad to the shipping lanes of the Gulf of Mexico. The shining new
silos rising over the waterfront to stand next to Big Arthur show that
more than a century later new visionaries are keeping Stilwells dream of
a port city alive.