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eastover neworleans

No Steel Mill for Louisiana!

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i think the south is a great place to live, and if LA had gotten this project instead of AL, i'd feel the same way. this project is large enough to have a ripple effect on the region's economy (not the greatest consolation when your area was really close to landing the whole thing, i know). the river corridor south of baton rouge has a rich history of sustaining heavy industry, and i don't think missing this project is a reflection of inadequacy in any way.

my worry for south louisiana is that the river's propensity to flow into the atchafalaya watershed is going to win, eventually, over mankind's efforts to prop up the existing industrial corridor. i have no idea whether that concerned TK's site selection people. it concerns me, because i fear that the corps of engineers is only going to remain committed to propping up the levy system that keeps the mississippi on course as long as it preserves the industries that operate along its banks - not to preserve the topographic stability of the cities themselves. if it were just a matter of saving houses and office buildings, i think the corps would have had its hands tied long ago.

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. . . . . .

one thing that surprises me is the apparent outrage of louisianans who left comments on the story posted in the link above. people really seem to be down on the current leadership in that state. is post-katrina corruption really that bad down there? alabama has its share of political corruption as well.

there are a lot of recent success stories in LA's heavy industry economy, and many of the people who left comments seem to be focusing on this one 'miss' - which i don't even consider a failure, since LA was in the final 2 out of 16 original contenders.

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Well, to most Louisianians it's not "post-katrina corruption" because this is stuff I've heard people complaining about for years. Louisiana seems to be infamous for corrupt and inept politicians. Katrina just highlighted that to a national audience.

I'm not surprised that we lost the bid. I think we have a lot going against us, some new from Katrina and even more that have been problems for years, and it'll take a complete overhaul to fix everything wrong with this state.

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yea we lost that chance to get something important, but it's done. I think. Alabama has a lot of none chemical producing plants, this one only adds to the collection. I think.

I don't know much about this story, just heard the "bad" news when I left work.

:dontknow:

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Well, to most Louisianians it's not "post-katrina corruption" because this is stuff I've heard people complaining about for years.

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I'm not surprised either. I think that the steel plant had already made up its mind which state it would choose a long time ago. It really wasn't as close as they made it out to be. The steel plant used the competition as a way to see how much money in incentives it could get from Alabama and it seemed to work. Louisiana was probably out the race a month ago. Another thing, why did it seem like Louisiana was playing catch up to a Alabama? Instead of being in the driver seat, it chose to wait and see what Alabama had to offer. If Louisiana wants to lure some big plant, it will have to be a lot more agressive and not sit and wait and play catch up. Well.....on the plus side, there seem to be other companies interested in the site so we will see how that plays out.

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I'm not surprised either. I think that the steel plant had already made up its mind which state it would choose a long time ago. It really wasn't as close as they made it out to be. The steel plant used the competition as a way to see how much money in incentives it could get from Alabama and it seemed to work. Louisiana was probably out the race a month ago. Another thing, why did it seem like Louisiana was playing catch up to a Alabama? Instead of being in the driver seat, it chose to wait and see what Alabama had to offer. If Louisiana wants to lure some big plant, it will have to be a lot more agressive and not sit and wait and play catch up. Well.....on the plus side, there seem to be other companies interested in the site so we will see how that plays out.

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I don't think corruption had anything to do with us not getting this site. It had to do with 3 factors according to the company.

The first was site preparation. Louisiana ponied up 1.1 billion dollars to help with site prep...including port facilities for 2 oceangoing vessels at the same time, roads, and the thousands of pilings needed to shore up the soft soil in the area. However...Louisiana balked at the demand from the company to raise most of the site 10 feet to the 500 year flood plain. That was a cost that the state did not want to assume. Strike one against the Convent site.

The second factor was the higher cost of electricity supplied by Entergy. Since Entergy uses natural gas to produce most of it's power, there is a high fuel surcharge added into the bill compared to Alabama Power which mainly uses coal. The cost difference according to the company would be around $5,000,000 per month. That is a significant difference. Entergy must focus on upgrading it's overall grid infrastructure and rely on less volatile power generation sources to help Louisiana land future projects. Strike 2.

The third factor was the high cost of labor in the New Orleans/Baton Rouge area post Katrina. According to the company, the labor pool in this region is very large and that was not a concern, but the wages paid in this region are now higher than those in Alabama due to Katrina. Strike 3.

However...I do think the state will still be able to land spin off projects from this plant as things wind up over Mobile. We could probably get some suppliers and distributors into the area. The economic impact from this plant will easily extend from New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle. It's a good thing for the entire region.

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I don't think corruption had anything to do with us not getting this site. It had to do with 3 factors according to the company.

The first was site preparation. Louisiana ponied up 1.1 billion dollars to help with site prep...including port facilities for 2 oceangoing vessels at the same time, roads, and the thousands of pilings needed to shore up the soft soil in the area. However...Louisiana balked at the demand from the company to raise most of the site 10 feet to the 500 year flood plain. That was a cost that the state did not want to assume. Strike one against the Convent site.

The second factor was the higher cost of electricity supplied by Entergy. Since Entergy uses natural gas to produce most of it's power, there is a high fuel surcharge added into the bill compared to Alabama Power which mainly uses coal. The cost difference according to the company would be around $5,000,000 per month. That is a significant difference. Entergy must focus on upgrading it's overall grid infrastructure and rely on less volatile power generation sources to help Louisiana land future projects. Strike 2.

The third factor was the high cost of labor in the New Orleans/Baton Rouge area post Katrina. According to the company, the labor pool in this region is very large and that was not a concern, but the wages paid in this region are now higher than those in Alabama due to Katrina. Strike 3.

However...I do think the state will still be able to land spin off projects from this plant as things wind up over Mobile. We could probably get some suppliers and distributors into the area. The economic impact from this plant will easily extend from New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle. It's a good thing for the entire region.

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Louisiana takes another loss. How much longer can we continually be deprived of necessary boosts? <_<

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I have heard that once the announcement was made, other companies were on the phone with the State of LA to look at the site since the german steel mill passed on it. Don't be suprised if we don't land something for Convent by year end.

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I've heard the same thing from many people, byrde. I really believe this was a win-win for Louisiana; even if we didn't get the plant, we really "got out there" and I've heard as many as 4-5 companies took note of, and are very interesting in that site in Saint James Parish. I agree that it won't be vacant for much longer. :thumbsup:

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Do realize that Alabama has a significant power supplying capability with the Tennesse Valley Authority supplying much hydro-electric power to the state. I'm sure that the rates are significantyl lower there than here. Much of the reason also for Bama getting the plant could be traced back to economic development that apparently has been emphasized in that state. I don't believe Louisiana has ever stressed it to the degree of other southern states. Maybe the refineries and chemical plants in BR area, but the state as a whole doesn't seem to have much in that regard.

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I kind of disappointed, but not suprised for some reason. :mellow: Oh well, I think that LA has enough industry that we need to take care of already.

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This isn't that bad of a thing that we didn't get it. There are 5 companies looking at the same site that encompasses over 5000 new jobs and a potential $7 Billion in investments. Mobile's gain isn't necessarily our loss....if all works out, we're going to get twice the investment as originally hoped for with the same site....just let the cards and powers that be work through further negotiations....

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Corruption didn't have anything to do with this.

There has been very little scandal post-Katrina.

And yes, Louisiana is no stranger to corruption, but I read where Mississippi is ranked worse than us in that department. The problem is that either we make no efforts to hide our history of corruption, or that we actually advertise it. We're a colorful bunch, and we don't blush easily.

At any rate, I'm saddened that we lost the plant, but excited at the future possibilities. Not only the possibilities for the St. James site but also the site in Richland Parish which was recently ranked a top ten industrial megasite. Hopefully we can get both of those sites occupied and then we'll be rolling. The groundwork has been laid by Governor Blanco to get these projects going, I'm just afraid her tarnished image (incompetence, not corruption) probably works against her.

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Here's a very interesting read that goes into some detailed comparisons between Louisiana and Alabama's bids for the steel plant:

With steel mill loss, Louisiana learns highest bid doesn't always win

Article

Despite offering ThyssenKrupp AG an incentive package valued at $1.97 billion, the German conglomerate opted May 11 for a site near Mobile, Ala., for its $3.7 billion steel mill...

The state of Alabama offered a package valued at $811 million.

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Actually, TVA has virtually no activity in Mobile/Washington counties. TVA used to give money to all Bama counties, but, I'm not sure if they do or not. But, I think the farthest south that TVA supplies is the Birmingham Area. Everything else is Alabama Power. So, power supply didn't play a huge role in this in my opinion.

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very interesting and candid article with LA economic dev't director Mike Olivier about the factors that may have broken this deal for louisiana. it touches upon many of the points people have made in this thread. he pretty much vindicates all of slidellWX's comments above. wtg, slidellWX; ya knows what you're talkings about.

interesting to see a state official being straightforward about the LA package's strengths and weaknesses, especially in an interview with the press-register. i've been superficially impressed with this guy in all the TV spots i've seen him in over the past few months - very humble; very louisianan, very tactful. maybe he's a dirty lying skunk, but he puts out the opposite vibe. seems like an asset to you guys.

http://www.al.com/news/press-register/inde....xml&coll=3

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