The 36-silo facility would be located on the west bank of the Mississippi River
By Diego Flammini
A new grain terminal could be constructed, giving U.S. farmers more access to markets in Asia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Greenfield Louisiana, located in Baton Rouge, La., has submitted plans to build a 36-silo terminal on 248 acres within the Port of South Louisiana on the west bank of the Mississippi River in St. John the Baptist Parish.
If allowed to go through, the construction would happen in two phases.
The first phase would include an 820-foot-long dock capable of loading 120,000 bushels of corn, soybeans or wheat per hour. The second would double both the length of the dock and the terminal’s loading capacity.
It’s expected the terminal’s construction will create more than 300 jobs and the terminal itself could employ up to 100 people.
The project has received support from local, state and federal officials.
In 2019, the Port of South Louisiana logged 303 million short tons of goods. This new project would only help sustain or increase those figures.
The port also accounts for more than 60 percent of employment in the region.
“The port’s continued growth and vitality of the commerce it supports, however, hinges on improving and expanding its infrastructure,” State Sen. Eddie Lambert wrote to then Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in May 2020.
Jaclyn Hotard, president of St. John the Baptist Parish, also wrote a letter to support the project.
Not all community members support the project.
The American Civil Liberties Union in Louisiana is concerned operating the terminal could affect residents’ health negatively.
“Grain elevators pose life-threatening health and safety consequences, including fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, suffocation from engulfment and entrapment in grain bins, and crushing injuries from grain-handling equipment,” Alanah Odoms, executive director of ACLU Louisiana, said in a March 3 statement. “If this facility is developed, workers and community members will also be exposed to even more particulate air pollution, which can lodge deep in the lungs and cause serious health problems.”