Louisiana bill seeks Gulf container hub
State Sen. A.G. Crowe introduced a bill last week to create an agency that would develop a deepwater container transshipment facility off the Louisiana coast to serve the world’s largest cargo vessels.
The Louisiana International Deep Water Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority would also have the power to promote, finance, license and operate associated on-shore terminal facilities to receive the containers by feeder vessels and intermodal infrastructure to support the inland transport of the cargo. It proposes long-term concessions to private operators as a financing option.
The new agency would not have jurisdiction over the 30 existing port districts within the state, including the Port of New Orleans and five other deepwater ports, and would have to strike agreements with these separate agencies on any infrastructure improvements designed to handle traffic from the sea-based facility. But any new railroad line built to support the terminal would be controlled by the authority.
Proponents say the container transfer terminal would sit on an artificial island built with dredge spoils from the Mississippi River Delta.
SB 780 directs selection of port commissioners from nominees presented by the Ports Association of Louisiana, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the New Orleans Steamship Association, the Louisiana River Pilots Association, the North American Exporter Grain Association, the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, and both chambers of the state legislature.
More information about this proposed terminal and other efforts to develop container facilities in Louisiana is in the May American Shipper, pages 62-75. ' Eric Kulisch