It's the oldest shallow draft port in Louisiana. With over one hundred companies employing a total of 5,000 employees the Port of Iberia has a huge impact to the local economy.
“We didn't become an active port until after WW2. First channel wasn't dredged until 1946.” said Roy Pontiff.
Roy Pontiff, executive director for the port, says the port generates roughly $541 million in pay roll taxes, 70 million in local and state taxes. resulting in a $1.25 billion dollar economic impact to Acadiana's economy.
“The port is a 35 acre industrial complex. It's made up with manmade channels with direct access to gulf and coastal waterways and Gulf of Mexico. Our primary function here is fabrication of top sides for the oil and gas industry. Top sides are the top parts you see on the platform.” said Roy Pontiff.
Currently the channel's are deep enough to ship out a four thousand ton package but the future of the oil and gas industry is deeper and further out, which means heavier loads.
“We predict that the future modules will be 10 to 12 maybe even 15 thousand tons. We need to dredge deeper water. We are working with our delegation in Washington to get funding in place so was can get our channel's to 16 foot maybe even 20 feet. That would allow us to compete internationally.” said Roy Pontiff.