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Thursday, February 2, 2023

St. Bernard Port Holds Warehouse Ribbon Cutting with ASR Group

The St. Bernard Port, Harbor & Terminal District and American Sugar Refining-Domino Sugar recently held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the sugar refinery’s new warehouse at the Port’s Chalmette Terminal which will be managed by Meyers Warehouse, Inc. At the ribbon cutting are (front row, l-r) Brenda Ebel, Kyle & Associates; Kerri Callais, St. Bernard Parish Council at Large East; Walter Cure, St. Bernard Port Board of Commissioners Secretary; Jeanne E. Ferrer, St. Bernard Port Board of Commissioners Vice President; Rachel Nunez, St. Bernard Port Board of Commissioners President; Clovina Meyers, Meyers Warehouse, Inc.; Drew Heaphy, St. Bernard Port Executive Director; Mike Brown, ASR Group; Milton F. Meyers, Meyers Warehouse, Inc; Jaylynn Bergeron Turner, St. Bernard Parish Assessor; Dawn L. Alphonso, St. Bernard Parish Chief Deputy Assessor; Ted Roche, St. Bernard Port Director of Operations; Steve Baham, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development; and Patrick Meyers Jr., Meyers Warehouse, Inc. Second row (l-r) are Franklin Kyle, Kyle & Associates; Chris Hnatyshyn, Kyle & Associates; Eddie Powell, Kyle & Associates; Paysee McWilliams, Voelkel McWilliams Construction; Stacy Neal, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development; Meaghan McCormack, St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation Executive Director; Ross Gonzales, St. Bernard Port Director of Administration; Chantelle Meyers, Meyers Warehouse, Inc; Patrick Meyers Sr., Meyers Warehouse, Inc; Brian Beck, Voelkel McWilliams Construction; Joe Nuccio, Meyers Warehouse, Inc; Paul Wangler, ASR Group; and Matt Peace, Voelkel McWilliams.

Photo Courtesy of the St. Bernard Port, Harbor & Terminal District

Contributed by St. Bernard Port, Harbor & Terminal District

The St. Bernard Port, Harbor & Terminal District and American Sugar Refining-Domino Sugar recently held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the sugar refinery’s new warehouse located at the Port’s Chalmette Terminal, said Port Executive Director Drew Heaphy.

In early 2021, Heaphy said, the Port entered into a 10-year lease agreement with American Sugar Refining-Domino Sugar and the Port began construction on an 80,000 square-foot warehouse facility to provide the company with some much-needed space to store its consolidated finished sugar products.

According to Peter C. O’Malley, ASR Group vice president of corporate relations, American Sugar Refining is a subsidiary of ASR Group International, Inc.

The company, O’Malley said, is the world’s largest refiner and marketer of cane sugar with a capacity to refine and produce six million tons of sugar globally from imported and domestic raw sugars. They produce a full line of grocery, industrial, food service and specialty sweetener products.

In addition to the Chalmette refinery, which was built in 1909, O’Malley said ASR Group owns and operates five other sugar refineries in North America, including New York, California, Maryland, Canada and Mexico. In Europe, the company owns and operates sugar refineries in the United Kingdom, Portugal, and with a joint venture partner, Italy. ASR Group also farms sugarcane and owns sugar mills in Mexico and Belize, he said.

The $4 million food-grade warehouse built at the Port in Chalmette has several unique features such as specialized ventilation and sealed doors to protect the refinery’s product from outside elements like the weather, insects and rodents.

O’Malley said the storage facility, located at 521 Bonita Dr. in Chalmette, will be run by ASR Group’s long-time business partner Meyers Warehouse, Inc.

Patrick Meyers, Meyers’ operations manager, said Meyers is looking forward to operating the state-of-art storage facility.

“The location and close proximity to the Domino refinery, along with Meyers personnel staffing and operating the facility and the Port maintaining the property creates a win-win for everyone involved,” Meyers said.

Heaphy said the Port is also happy to be a part of this project that has been years in the making.

“We have attempted to put this deal together for nearly 20 years,” Heaphy said. “Persistence has paid off because it has finally come to fruition and is working well for everyone involved. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a long-lasting partnership.”

Meaghan R. McCormack, St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation executive director, is also excited about the new opportunities brought about by this agreement between the Port, Meyers, and ASR Group, which is one of the parish’s largest employers.

“This new partnership will create a positive impact for the community and afford the Port another opportunity to continue being the economic engine that it is,” McCormack said.

St. Bernard Port, along with its tenants and users of its facilities, produce an estimated $325 million in direct and indirect spending annually for the local economy, and create more than 2,000 full-time jobs, often for locals, Heaphy said.

The Port handles millions of tons of bulk, break-bulk and general cargo transfers, to and from thousands of barges and hundreds of cargo ships from around the world and continues to grow.

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