New Maritime Firm Port Fabricators, Inc. Active In Louisiana

Port Fabricators, Inc., specializing in the design, construction, maintenance and repairs of facilities and equipment for the petroleum and marine industry, has recently been established at the Port of New Iberia, La. Occupying a 12-acre waterfront site, the new industry represents a "total investment of over $1,000,000 in land, buildings and equipment, and is expected to provide new job opportunities for over 200 Acadiana citizens within the next year," it was announced by Louis J. Michot, secretary-treasurer of the new Port of New Iberia industry. Associated with Mr. Michot are R.L. Burton, president and general manager; S.B. Kelly, vice president-engineering, and Michael Keating, director and sales.

Mr. Burton, a native of Orange, Texas, attended North Texas University and Lamar Tech, and gained his experience through 14 years of steel and aluminum fabrication with Levingston Shipbuilding Company of Orange, Texas. He held the position of general fabrication superintendent at Levingston when he resigned to join Gulf Overseas, Inc.

in New Iberia. He was general manager of this firm before joining the Port Fabrication team.

Mr. Kelly, of Lafayette, is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana in petroleum engineering, was formerly with Mobil Oil Co. as construction foreman, senior production foreman and engineer, and with Tenneco as area engineer. He has 10 years total experience in oil industry engineering and design. Mr. Keating, a Lafayette native, attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and has been active in business in the Lafayette area for several years, and has been recently engaged in heavy equipment sales for Road Equipment Company of Lafayette.

"Our company actually commenced operations in June and today we have some 50 employees, with our present contracts exceeding $1,000,000 and an additional $3.2 million under negotiation and on our drawing boards.

Because of the diversified expertise of our key people, our capabilities cover the wide range from construction of onshore and offshore oil and gas structures of various types, to ship and barge building and repairs," stated Mr. Burton. "Although most of our current work is for oil-related firms serving the Gulf Coast area, we hope to sign agreements in our Shipbuilding Division for the construction of two 120-foot utilitycargo vessels for a large European operator, three fishing vessels for a Middle East country, and a 165-foot cargo-supply vessel for a south Louisiana boat company," he said.

Mr. Michot, who is former State Superintendent of Education and Lafayette Parish Legislator, and founder of the chain of Burger Chef Restaurants in Louisiana and Mississippi, has ventured into oil and gas activities in the last two years. He is president of Offshore Services & Transportation, Inc., a Lafayettebased firm operating a fleet of offshore crew-utility vessels in the Gulf of Mexico. The Lafayette native's other business interests are real estate development, insurance, oil and gas exploration, and banking.

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