Tanker, storage demand might float Avondale Shipyard’s future – New Orleans CityBusiness

Details were sparse when Huntington Ingalls Industries announced two weeks ago it will conduct a six-month joint study with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners into new uses for Avondale Shipyard. In the interim, only general terms have trickled out from those privy to the possibilities being considered.

Huntington Ingalls Industries CEO Mike Petters said in August that the company will consider a partnership to build Jones Act-compliant oil tankers at Avondale Shipyard. (Ahmad Karbakhsh/iStock/Thinkstock)

A closer look at recent deals and statements from both companies sheds some light on what the two companies have in store for the West Jefferson site.

Manufacturing and warehousing are being mentioned as future uses but with no indication of what could be made or might be stored. Theres also talk that Kinder Morgan, the largest U.S. midstream energy company, could establish a terminal at Avondale. It already has three such facilities near New Orleans with more than 4 million barrels of capacity.

The most intriguing possibility involves Kinder Morgan expanding its investment in shipping tankers through a joint venture with Huntington Ingalls that maintains Avondale as a shipbuilding facility. Its a concept that HIIs leader endorsed months ago.

In August, President and CEO Mike Petters voiced an interest in pursuing Jones Act vessel fabrication work for Avondale as a joint project with a company in energy logistics industry. During a conference call with financial analysts, he said buil....

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