Port courts fabricator for old Superior yard location

A barge fabricator is interested in locating in the former Superior Fabricators facility on the Charenton Navigation and Drainage Canal.

West St. Mary Port Executive Director David Allain declined Tuesday to release the name of the company, but said it has a contract to build a large number of barges.

Allain and commission President Calvin Deshotel met with the owner and visited the site. He said he contacted the owners of the facility and learned it is still for sale.

The company would employ about 100 people.

“This isn’t a prospective tenant, this is a tenant that’s ready to sign,” Allain said. “But we can’t market a building we don’t own.”

The port will attempt to purchase the facility and lease it to the company which Allain said is prepared to sign a 10-year lease at a mutually-agreed upon rate.

The site is 15 acres and the buildings total 66,000 square feet.

Also Tuesday, Allain said National Oilwell Varco has mostly exited the facility it had leased from the port commission. The company is consolidating its locations.

Marine Turbine Technologies wants the building to expand its operation. The company is building turbine-powered generators and has a very large order to fulfill immediately. The building just needs some final cleanup and maintenance before MTT can occupy it.

MTT has hired four employees already and more are expected to be hired.

They expect to manufacture 10 generators per month.

Personnel to fill technical positions will be needed, such as electricians and fitters.

Allain also said negotiations with Atmos Energy to supply natural gas to the property have reached a point where the company would like a resolution of intent from the port commission. The commission agreed.

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