Submitted Photo Courtesy of PMI Nutrition International
The 360-foot ship Oslo Bulk 9 has begun landing at the Port of Morgan City
By ZACHARY FITZGERALD
MORGAN CITY — PMI Nutrition International, a company owned by Land O’ Lakes, began bringing a 360-foot ship into the Port of Morgan City about three weeks ago, and a company official says it plans to export feed ingredients and import salt to the port as frequently as possible. Kevin Schluender, director of Ingredient Merchandising for Purina Animal Nutrition Inc., said any international business Purina Mills does is done through PMI Nutrition International. Purina Mills is also owned by Land O’ Lakes Inc. PMI Nutrition International is leasing the vessel that will be importing and exporting from the port, Schluender said. The ship coming will import salt into the U.S. and will export feed ingredients mostly to Mexico, Schluender said. The company’s ingredient merchandising business has been around since the 1970s, he said. The ship is about 360 feet long, 55 feet wide, 105 feet tall and holds roughly 6,000 tons, Port of Morgan City Executive Director Raymond “Mac” Wade said. “It’s a beautiful sight to see something like that in the Port of Morgan City,” Wade said. The vessel came in to the port Tuesday night, which was its third trip to Morgan City in the past 18 days, Wade said. Within seven days to 10 days the ship will make its way back to Morgan City, Wade said. Unloading the ship takes about 24 hours, he said. Imported salt will be put on barges and shipped up north, he said.
The boat will be cleaned and then export grain out of the country, Wade said. Every time the vessel comes to the port, crews from barges and tugboats assist with ship activities, he said. The imported salt will be used primarily for deicing purposes at first, but the salt can also be used for water softening and in animal feed, Schluender said. Purina chose Morgan City because the port approaches business much like the company does, Schluender said. For example, the Port of Morgan City is much more willing to be flexible and work with the company while also driving business than some other ports, he said. The ship will come into Morgan City as frequently as possible, Schluender said. Purina Mills also has storage and docking opportunities in Berwick and can temporarily store salt there, he said. “The city’s been great to work with,” Schluender said. “They’ve been very cooperative, and we’re very happy that they’ve taken an opportunity to try to help us out where they can.” Wade is working to get economic impact numbers to show the value the ship brings to the community each time it docks at the port, he said.
Published by Daily Review 09-03-14