| Thursday, October 9, 2014 |
Since its completion and opening in August, 2013, Edison
Chouest’s “LaShip” shipyard has become an essential part of the
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."