BC-LA—Chiquita-New Orleans,130

New Orleans port OKs $5.3M construction for Chiquita site

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Port of New Orleans’ Board of Commissioners has approved a contract with Metairie-based Centric Gulf Coast Inc. to build racks that will hold containers filled with bananas for Chiquita.

New Orleans CityBusiness reports (http://bit.ly/13uvtAI ) the containers will plug into a refrigerated unit that keeps the fruit at a certain temperature while transported by truck from the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to Chiquita’s ripening facility, which is expected to be fully operational early next year.

Centric was the lowest of four bids. The contract was approved last week.

The cooperative development agreement between the port and Louisiana Economic Development calls for the port to pay $5.3 million for 300 reefer racks and plugs, and the state will reimburse $2 million of that with the port making up the difference.

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Information from: New Orleans CityBusiness, http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com