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Container terminal berthing 22,000-TEU ships in Louisiana moves forward

Plaquemines Port finds site for deepwater, multimodal terminal

Plans for new container terminal progress at Plaquemines Port (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Plaquemines Port announced Wednesday that development partner LA23 Development Co. (LA23 Devco) has secured the site for a future container terminal.

The land sits on the west side of the Mississippi River, 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, with rail access to both Union Pacific’s (NYSE: UNP) and BNSF’s (NYSE: BRK.B) lines.

The port has been working with LA23 Devco and Sustainability Partners to find the land and to design the logistics network for rail access.

“This is an exciting first step towards the project,” said Chris Fetters, CEO at LA23 Devco. “Rail is a vital component to the success of the terminal, and we are looking forward to the partnership with Sustainability Partners.”

The gateway container terminal to and from the Gulf will sit on 1,000 acres (8,200 feet of river frontage) in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, accommodating ships with capacity of up to 22,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. The deepwater, multimodal (rail, truck and barge) facility will be environmentally friendly, powered by natural gas, with its equipment utilizing electric drive power.

American Patriot Holdings (APH) will provide inland container shipping service from the port to inland Midwest ports. APH’s liners can provide payload capacity up to 2,375 TEUs in the lower portion of the river and 1,800 TEUs in the upper river and tributaries.

Sustainability Partners has begun working on a $50 million project to connect the port to the railroads. Rail access will extend 10 miles from the river to several terminal operators in the area.

“Our development partners provide us the flexibility to leverage our opportunity with the private financing strategic elements of the project without asking the state of Louisiana for any funding of our $1 billion project,” stated Sandy Sanders, the port’s executive director.

Designs and permits for the rail extension are estimated to take 12 to 18 months. Construction should only take six to nine months.

Plaquemines Port is currently conducting due diligence with APM Terminals to assess the competitive and financial impacts. APM will be the operator of the terminal.

Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District is the 13th-largest port by tonnage in the U.S.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.

One Comment

  1. Christian Jensen

    Given how well New Orleans just did with Hurricane Ida with regards to flooding and storm surge, will this new site be within a federally funded flood protection system?

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Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.