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This is an artist rendition of an aerial view of the future dock at Bulk Terminal No. 1. (Special to the American Press)

This is an artist rendition of an aerial view of the future dock at Bulk Terminal No. 1. (Special to the American Press)

Bonds to be sold to fund port improvements

Last Modified: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 11:33 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Revenue bonds totaling $40.5 million will be sold in the municipal bond market on Wednesday to fund capital improvements at the Port of Lake Charles.

The Port recently received a rating of A3 from Moody’s Investors Service and an A- rating from Standard & Poor’s. Bill Rase, the port’s executive director, said that local investors will get purchase priority so the community can participate in the port’s growth.

“We’re very pleased with the ratings,” Rase said. “We think the bonds will sell quickly and give the port the opportunity to work on its infrastructure.”

The $40.5 million bond sale is the initial issue since the Louisiana State Bond Commission in October approved up to $100 million in port bonds. The return from these bonds will pay part of the port’s $227 million capital improvement plan.

The first series will encompass a $17 million rehabilitation to “Shed 1,” which was the first dock and transit shed constructed at the Port in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

For the favorable bond ratings, the agencies referred to the Port’s “prudent liquidity and expense policy, the expected effective management of the Port’s capital program, and the announcement of several projects that will be located on Port property.”

“The future is very bright for the port,” Rase said. “In the next 4-5 months the public will see the future is even brighter than what it is today. We think we have some good projects on the books.”

Some projects include Magnolia LNG and G2X Energy, which are located on port property. The port will receive lease payments and receive payments through the operating agreements.

The order period for bonds will begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and will continue for about two hours, or until they are sold entirely. The revenue bond sale will close Dec. 4 and investors will begin accruing interest at that time, according to a news release.

Interested investors are asked to contact Bank of America Merrill Lynch at 491-0700, Morgan Stanley on Lake Street at 479-7610 or Morgan Stanley on Pujo Street at 439-9461.

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