New Orleans Cold Storage dedicated its newly designed $40 million, 142,000-square-foot, refrigeration facility at the Port of New Orleans. Funded by the State of Louisiana and the Port of New Orleans, the project will create 125 new jobs.
Established in 1886, New Orleans Cold Storage and Warehousing is the oldest cold storage company in North America. It is one of the largest suppliers of beef, poultry and pork exports in the nation. Among other products, the facility handles nearly half of the poultry exported from Louisiana farmers to foreign destinations.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said "the new facility is a symbol of the resilience of the City of New Orleans and Louisiana. The project shows that we may have been knocked down by Hurricane Katrina, but we were committed to getting up and rebuilding better than before. "
"New Orleans Cold Storage is a Louisiana company through and through, and even when extremely hard times hit, this company stayed true to its Louisiana roots. Instead of packing up and moving to another state, New Orleans Cold Storage chose to stay put and rebuild their operations right here in Louisiana. Even after sustaining devastating damage after Hurricane Katrina and being recruited to rebuild in other states, New Orleans Cold Storage chose to stay and reinvest in New Orleans because of Louisiana's strong business climate, world class workforce and manufacturing and transportation infrastructure," the Governor added.
The Henry Clay Avenue Wharf facility can store 38 million pounds of poultry and beef and has the capacity to blast-freeze 1.25 million pounds of product each day.
State officials said a $23.5 million Community Development Block Grant, part of the state's disaster recovery program, helped cover much of the cost for the new $40 million warehouse in a prime shipping location. The remaining $16.5 million came from the Port of New Orleans, which owns the terminal and leases it to NOCS.
"We have reached the end of a long road traveled since Hurricane Katrina, and we are poised for growth," said New Orleans Cold Storage President and CEO Mark Blanchard. "The storm and subsequent closing of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet made it uncertain whether we could keep operations in New Orleans open. But with the help of the State and the Port of New Orleans, we are expanding by opening our new state-of-the-art terminal at the Henry Clay Avenue Wharf."
"Failure was not an option," said Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange. "We never gave up because we knew we had to build this terminal to retain cargo that is essential to the health of the Port of New Orleans. But this new terminal represents so much more than simply replicating the capacity we lost to Katrina. We've built stronger and smarter. Our investment will allow the Port of New Orleans and NOCS to grow its cargo volumes and offer unparalleled services to shippers."