Port of Gulfport signs lease agreement with largest tenant ever - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Port of Gulfport signs lease agreement with largest tenant ever

Construction on phase one of the project should begin early next year, with operations set to begin in 2020. (Photo source: WLOX) Construction on phase one of the project should begin early next year, with operations set to begin in 2020. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Officials with the state port at Gulfport have signed a lease with the biggest tenant to ever call the port home.

SeaOne is leasing several acres on the south end of the west port to build a $450 million production facility. The company plans on piping in natural and other gases, converting that into a liquid form and then shipping the cargo to Caribbean nations.

Once there, it will be used as a cheap energy source.

“By the time they finish off, and the time the first phase is completed with six to eight million tons, they become the largest revenue producer for the port. So, it really begins to take us in a new direction,” port director Jonathan Daniels explained.

In addition to the huge investment, the company will bring in about 45 new jobs to the port. Not only that, current tonnage at the port will more than triple in size. For port officials, the best news might be that the long wished for deepening of the ship channel may finally happen.

As SeaOne continues to expand, bigger ships will be brought in on a regular basis, requiring the channel to be deepened to a depth of at least 42 feet.

“From a marine perspective, from a transport perspective, it's always nice that you don't have to go through a lot of long waterways, complicated waterways to get to where you are going to load,” said Bruce Hall, president of SeaOne Holdings. 

The agreement is also good from a monetary standpoint. The company will eventually pay millions of dollars in lease money to the port, as well as millions of dollars in state and local taxes.

Construction on the SeaOne gas production facility is scheduled to begin early next year, and should be operational by 2020.  In addition, the company will employ about 45 people. 

Because of the increased tonnage, longshoreman currently working at the port will see their hours increased as well.

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