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Terminal, port infrastructure projects find public, private partners

DOT earmarks over $703M for plans; New Orleans works toward $1.5B container facility

The Port of New Orleans. (Photo: Shutterstock/Ed Metz)

There were a slew of terminal and port infrastructure project updates announced this past week. Here are just a few:

DOT gives over $703M to 41 port infrastructure projects nationwide

Forty-one projects in 22 states and one territory are the recipients of more than $703 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s port infrastructure development program managed by the Maritime Administration.

The projects at coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports and inland river ports aim to increase capacity and resilience, make operations more efficient or reduce emissions, DOT said in a Friday news release. Funding will come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and congressional appropriations.

“President [Joe] Biden’s commitment to modernizing our infrastructure — from the beginning of his administration — has resulted in an unprecedented investment in all segments of our port infrastructure to enable us to move goods more quickly, strengthen supply chain resiliency and reduce the climate impacts of port operations themselves,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips said in the release.

A full list of all the awardees is available here.

The top 10 grants were for the following projects, many of which sought to address climate resiliency or incorporate renewable energy or sustainability practices:

  • North Extension Stabilization Step 1 Project in Anchorage, Alaska ($68,700,000).
  • Arthur Kill Offshore Wind Terminal Project in Staten Island, New York ($48,008,231).
  • Kapalama Container Terminal Project in Honolulu ($47,326,300).
  • Outer Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Project in Oakland, California ($36,592,875).
  • Salem Wind Port Project in Salem, Massachusetts ($33,835,953).
  • Middle Harbor Terminal Zero Emission Conversion Project in Long Beach, California ($30,141,080).
  • AMHS Prince William Sound Ferry Terminal Project in Cordova, Tatitlek and Chenega, Alaska ($28,248,386).
  • Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in Cleveland ($27,223,711).
  • Container on Barge Infrastructure Project in Beaumont, Texas ($26,440,500).
  • Grays Harbor Terminal 4 Expansion & Redevelopment Project in Aberdeen, Washington ($25,500,000).

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Port of New Orleans getting ducks in row for $1.5B facility

The Port of New Orleans is continuing to work on a $1.5 billion container facility coming to fruition.

The Louisiana International Terminal, slated to begin construction in 2025, is at the start of the federal permitting process, following guidelines of the National Environmental Policy Act. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be overseeing this process to study the terminal’s impact on traffic and air quality, among other potential impacts. 

Port of New Orleans officials say the facility, which will be located on the Lower Mississippi River at St. Bernard Parish, will serve larger vessels. The port anticipates the terminal’s first berth to open in 2028.

“Not only does container shipping deliver goods to our grocery stores and packages to our doorsteps, but it’s also how Louisiana manufacturers and agricultural producers get their products to market,” Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy Christian said in a Thursday news release. “If our state is to remain in the container shipping business — and to retain exports and grow imports — we must build the Louisiana International Terminal.”   

In addition to going through the permitting process, the port has been interacting with potential private partners, including ocean carriers and terminal operators, as well as working with the surrounding community to minimize any disruptions from the terminal’s activity. An updated layout for the terminal includes more buffers to separate neighborhoods from it, an overpass for cars to avoid a rail crossing and a more detailed water-runoff drainage system. 

The port is also investing in outfitting the terminal with environmentally friendly options, such as providing onshore electricity to docked vessels and growing container-on-barge services. 

“Our state’s future rests in competing in a global market,” Christian said. “So, we must invest in a trade-based economy. We must invest like our Southern state neighbors or get left behind. And if we do it right, we have the opportunity to be the next-generation leader in global trade.”  

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Terminal partnership to expand Port of Baltimore offerings

Tradepoint Atlantic and Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) are partnering to develop an on-site, 165-acre, rail-served container terminal at Coke Point, part of the Port of Baltimore complex.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan praised the partnership in a Tuesday news release.

“Tradepoint Atlantic has quickly become a transformational force as one of North America’s most strategic and versatile commercial gateways and a magnet for major companies like Amazon, BMW, FedEx and Volkswagen to build and expand their footprint in the region,” Hogan said. “It has also solidified the Port of Baltimore’s status as one of the best ports in America. … We are celebrating a joint partnership between Tradepoint Atlantic and Terminal Investment Limited, which will further expand the growth and competitiveness of the port.”

Hogan, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott signed a memorandum of understanding to support the partnership. 

“This strategic partnership with TIL is only possible because of the tremendous investment in the expansion of the Howard Street Tunnel and highlights the lasting and growing opportunities here at Tradepoint Atlantic,” said Kerry Doyle, Tradepoint Atlantic managing director. “The Port of Baltimore is a jewel of the mid-Atlantic region and [the] announcement means that not only will the port remain competitive with other major East Coast ports for years to come but that we will gain a substantial advantage over them.”

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Alpenglow Rail, CC&L Infrastructure add Alberta Midland Railway Terminal

Denver-based Alpenglow Rail and its partner, Toronto-based CC&L Infrastructure, have acquired Alberta Midland Railway Terminal (AMRT), a short-line rail facility in Lamont County, Alberta. 

“The terminal provides critical first- and last-mile transportation and logistics solutions to an established local customer base,” the partners said in a Tuesday news release. 

The terminal, which the companies say boasts proximity to one of the largest industrial hubs in North America, is able to store more than 1,400 railcars on approximately 300 acres. The facility, served by both CN (NYSE: CNI) and Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP), also sports a unit train-capable loop track.

The companies have been partnering since 2019 to acquire six rail terminals across the U.S. and Canada. Their portfolio includes USA Rail Terminals, which consists of three facilities in the U.S. Gulf Coast, and VIP Rail, which has two railcar storage, switching, transloading and railcar-cleaning operations in Sarnia, Ontario.

“The AMRT transaction is very strategic to our portfolio,” said Alpenglow Chief Strategy Officer Josh Huster in a Tuesday news release. “Through the acquisition of AMRT, Alpenglow is now the only rail terminal business serving three major petrochemical centers in North America: the Alberta Heartland, the U.S. Gulf Coast and southwestern Ontario. This allows us to serve our customers in multiple markets and to create pitch-and-catch opportunities for our customers as all three energy hubs are very integrated.”

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Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.