LAWRENCEBURG - A purchase agreement for a site near Lawrenceburg that could potentially serve as the state's fourth port has been extended once again. The Ports of Indiana originally signed the agreement in September 2017 to acquire up to 725 acres of land that formerly housed the American Electric Power plant.

The option to decide whether to purchase the land was extended in November and set to expire June 30. Governor Eric Holcomb's office says the option has again been extended six months to allow Tanners Creek Development LLC to complete its environmental remediation plan for the site and submit it to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

The total cost for the land and equipment would be about $8 million, if the Ports of Indiana decides to move forward with the purchase. When the purchase agreement was initially signed, Holcomb said the addition of a fourth port would provide economic benefits to the region and state that would be "game changing."

Indiana currently has two ports along the Ohio River in Jeffersonville and Mount Vernon, as well as one along Lake Michigan at Burns Harbor. In 2018, the three ports handled a record 14.8 million tons of cargo.