Plaquemines Port, Harbor and Terminal District (PPHTD) and APM Terminals have announced a Letter of Intent whereby APM Terminals will become the operator of the newly planned Container Terminal and Intermodal Rail Facility and external parties will be the investor in the new port. Plaquemines Port and their financial partners will manage the financial activities associated with the infrastructure development, investment, and ownership of the port.
Governor of Louisiana John Bel Edwards applauded the announcement of the agreement. “We’re excited by the prospect of starting a new economic chapter in U.S. ports by developing America’s newest port here in Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said, “one that has the potential to install new U.S. supply chain capabilities, build new businesses, create new jobs for our great state and generate economic impact throughout our country. Ports are economic engines and APM Terminals – a leader whose expertise is known globally – is ideally qualified to help us develop and operate one of the newest ports in the world.”
50 nautical miles from the Gulf of Mexico
The facility is in the early stages of development as a 50’ (15.24m) deep water depth, state-of-the-art container terminal in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Located on the Mississippi River just 50 nautical miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the gateway port will cater to exporters and importers who could tap into the multimodal routing options of rail, truck, inland marine and air. The terminal will be environmentally-friendly, powered by a combination of natural gas and electricity, encompassing up to 1,000 acres and 8,200 feet of Mississippi River frontage.
Wim Lagaay, CEO of APM Terminals North America said “We see tremendous opportunity to write a new supply chain playbook for U.S. exporters and importers with this location. Exporters are looking for ways to ship their products overseas with a competitive port and importers are looking for more ways to reach major regional consumer markets in the South and Midwest. We look forward to working with the Plaquemines Port Team, their partners and with State and Local leaders to ensure the port operates on world-class levels as a Louisiana success story.”
PPHTD Executive Director Sandy Sanders said, “Our vision is to create a new port with an entirely new supply chain network into the United States. We will have multiple routing options to inland markets which give supply chain planners the resiliency and contingency layers essential to manage future supply chains effectively. We have also carefully selected our partners, APM Terminals, American Patriot Holdings and Louisiana 23 Development Company who share our vision to engineer a logistics business model that attracts private investment dollars and new cargo to Louisiana and strategic inland markets.”
Storm resistant technology
Special focus will be on utilizing modern infrastructure technology and engineering to withstand storm surges and wind damage in the design of the port. The port and connecting infrastructure will be built 16 feet above sea level. Phase One of construction is expected to last two years and will deliver the capability to handle 22,000-TEU class vessels with the ability to expand capacity as needed.
The Army Corps of Engineers will focus on bolstering levees around the site and connecting infrastructure. To reduce the risk of flooding of the terminal site and surrounding area, the US Army Corps of Engineers is building a new federal levee system. This system will bring the existing flood protection from a 4 foot height to a new and robust 14 foot height and will tie back into the Mississippi River levees at a height of 15 feet. Once completed, the system will be able to protect the site from devastating storm surges similar to those of Hurricane Ida. Construction of the flood protection profile is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2023.
To further mitigate flood risk, the port has adopted a Multiple Lines of Defense Strategy to restore coastal wetlands in the frontline of the storm surge and provide additional protection to hurricane levees that surround the facilities. The port is working with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on developing restoration and resiliency projects that would provide additional protection to the terminal as well as vulnerable communities outside of the flood protection section.