Edison Chouest Shipyard Essential to Local Economy

by | Thursday, October 09, 2014 |

Since its completion and opening in August, 2013, Edison Chouest’s “LaShip” shipyard has become an essential part of the Houma-Terrebonne industry.

The shipyard’s drydock – the final piece of construction – is approximately 80 feet tall and 400 feet long. The dock was built by Gulf Island Fabrication and cost roughly $37 million. The dock can be lowered into the water to allow for an easier launch of larger vessels when they have been completed.

Just following the dock’s opening, Edison Chouest spokesman, Lonnie Thibodaux, expressed that the dock is absolutely necessary due to the size of ships currently being constructed. The larger the vessel, the harder it is to launch using traditional means.

Back in 2006, Edison Chouest had to decide whether to build its new, multi-million dollar facility in Corpus Christi, Texas; or Houma, Louisiana, as the expense of dredging a property already owned by Chouest had been deemed prohibitive by company executives. Enter the Port and Louisiana Economic Development Association, who came up with a $75 million package to keep the company’s facility, jobs and business in Louisiana. In return, Edison Chouest committed to bringing at least 1,000 permanent positions to the state.

Said Thibodaux, "They met the 1,000 employee job plateau employee threshold that they committed to the state of Louisiana. The facility is thriving, and it's a big benefit to our local economy."

And jobs aren’t the only benefit. According to Edison Chouest Senior Vice President, Roger White, "Not only did we bring 1,000 good-paying jobs to the table, this facility will build billions of dollars of vessels. That means work for suppliers, equipment sellers, service companies throughout the entire region.”

Executive Director of the Terrebonne Port Commission, David Rabalais, conveyed that Edison Chouest is different from a lot of companies, in that they are committed to supporting the local economy. Said Rabalais, "One thing about them is they try to buy locally. Whatever they can get locally, they do.It's not like Wal-Mart. The money they make stays in the community."

Rabalais went on to express that the rate of pay and job creation also provides benefits to the local economy.He said, "All the employees are paid well. They spend all the money in the community and so does the company itself. So that's a big benefit to our area."

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