Port of New Orleans Acquires Property for Potential New Container Terminal

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The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) has begun the due diligence process for a potential $1.5 billion multimodal container terminal to serve the largest container vessels calling in the Gulf of Mexico. On December 29, 2020, Port NOLA acquired property in St. Bernard Parish and began a two-year due diligence and permitting period that will include robust community engagement.

This major economic development project would serve industry investments throughout the State of Louisiana and attract business to St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans East, Jefferson Parish, the North Shore and parishes along the Lower Mississippi River.

“Three months ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched a landmark project that will dredge the Mississippi River to a depth of 50 feet, from the Gulf of Mexico to Baton Rouge,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “The Corps believes that work will pay for itself quickly by bringing larger vessels and more commerce to our state. I applaud the Port of New Orleans for investing in Louisiana’s future through key container terminal improvements. Port NOLA’s vision will greatly increase our global container business, support our industries, attract new logistics investment to Louisiana and secure quality jobs for our people.”

Port NOLA’s container volumes more than doubled in 10 years with double-digit growth in 2018 and 2019. Recognizing the need for additional container capacity, Port NOLA is investing $100 million-plus to add four new 100-gauge gantry cranes and associated improvements in its current container facilities. However, an additional terminal is also needed to handle projected volumes and support evolving needs of the shipping and logistics industry. A new terminal would complement the Port’s existing Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal by exceeding water draft levels and completely eliminating air draft restrictions.

“Providing the next generation of critical infrastructure which meets the needs of our container carrier partners and provides economic prosperity for St. Bernard Parish, our region and the State of Louisiana is Port NOLA’s number one priority,” said President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, Brandy D. Christian, “This property acquisition and due diligence process is an exciting step forward. Our Strategic Master Plan identified the opportunity, and we are working hard to move forward with a project that provides regional and statewide benefits.”

Nearly 1,100 acres located in Violet, Louisiana at Mississippi River Mile Marker 83 were acquired with consideration for a phased project that accommodates terminal operations, terminal access and egress traffic impacts, environmental issues and adjacent community needs.

“I am highly encouraged by the cooperation and partnership between St. Bernard Port and the Port of New Orleans, which will benefit both ports and the entire Parish. St. Bernard Port will improve its facilities and the Port of New Orleans is in the initial phases of the most significant investment in St. Bernard Parish in many years,” said St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis. “I look forward to working with Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Port of New Orleans to solidify any critical infrastructure improvements/needs for a project of this magnitude and for the citizens of St. Bernard Parish.”

Central to the development is naturally deep-draft riverfront acreage at Violet that has historically been used for maritime operations including ship repair, cargo handling and more. The property also has ample acreage to support ancillary cargo-related logistics and value-add businesses. The Violet location is within the Federal Government’s $14 billion flood protection system and includes existing multimodal infrastructure with access to six Class 1 railroads and interstate highways. The potential project will accommodate Port NOLA’s growing container-on-barge operations and incorporate green technologies.

For project updates visit www.portnola.com/info/downriver.

Published: January 14, 2021