HOUMA – Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal joined the Terrebonne Port Commission and Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors to dedicate two new dry docks at the Port of Terrebonne. The $11 million project led by the state, the Port of Terrebonne and Thoma-Sea will create 175 new direct jobs with an average salary of $45,000 per year, including benefits.
Governor Jindal said, "This is a great example of a state and local partnership that will continue to move our economy in the right direction. This is great news for the Port of Terrebonne, Houma and the Bayou Region. Not only has this project resulted in 75 new jobs for our people, but it provided a much-needed boost after President Obama’s ‘arbitrary and capricious’ drilling moratorium last year. Company officials plan to hire an additional 100 employees within the next year as the second dry dock comes online."
The expansion at the Port of Terrebonne includes two new office buildings, fabrication space and two dry docks to expand vessel construction and repair operations. The project was made possible by $9 million in state Department of Transportation and Development port priority funds and $2 million from Thoma-Sea.
"Investing in our port system helps to not only further grow Louisiana’s economy, but strengthen our maritime infrastructure, which is a major artery to the heartland of the nation," said DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas. "With the advancement of funding through DOTD’s port priority program and 2008 state surplus funds, this project was accelerated three to four years ahead of schedule. We are proud to partner with businesses like Thoma-Sea to fully utilize our port system. Additionally, we look forward to the continued relationship we have with the Terrebonne Port Commission and the investment of $9 million in yet another dry-dock project that will enhance this port."
Construction of the dry docks began in 2009 and was completed in late 2010. The new docks will allow Thoma-Sea to lift supply boats up to 240 feet in length and barges up to 300 feet in length for fabrication and repair.
"Without the special legislation to advance the funds for this project, the dry-dock delivery would have been delayed for at least two additional years," said David Rabalais, executive director of the Port of Terrebonne. "By advancing the funds, the port was able to deliver the dry docks two years early and create much-needed jobs in an economy slowed by the oil spill and the President’s shut down of offshore drilling. Studies have demonstrated that for every dollar invested in ports, six dollars are returned to the state’s economy."
"We thank Gov. Jindal, Secretary LaBas and the Port of Terrebonne for participating in today’s dedication. It means a great deal to our employees and our community," said Gerard Thomassie, managing partner of Thoma-Sea. "We are proud of the efforts of the Port of Terrebonne and of our employees to get to today’s announcement."
The expansion will allow Thoma-Sea to build more tugboats and other general marine vessels that do not exclusively service the oil and gas industry.
"This is an exciting example of a local company working together with the state to help move our economy forward," said LED Secretary Stephen Moret. "Quality jobs generated by companies like Thoma-Sea prove that reinvesting in business infrastructure is good for our state’s continued economic growth."
For nearly 20 years, Thoma-Sea has been active in constructing high-quality vessels for the commercial sector. Established in 1990 to construct inland and offshore tugs, the company quickly expanded into the production of ship escorts, specialized barge tugs, and platform supply vessels. Vessels built by Thoma-Sea are active in trade along all coasts of the U.S. and international waters. Thoma-Sea has emerged as a regional leader in commercial marine construction. For more information, visit www.thoma-sea.com.