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Port of New Orleans nets $73M federal grant for container terminal

The Port of New Orleans has been awarded a $73.77 million federal grant to advance the first construction phase of the $1.8 billion Louisiana International Terminal project.

The container terminal will be capable of handling 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units annually and ultra-large container vessels once completed in 2028. 

“With Louisiana’s unmatched inland connections and with no bridges in its way, the new Louisiana International Terminal will meet market demands for much-needed supply chain solutions and bring prosperity to our region for generations to come,” Brandy D. Christian, the port’s president and CEO, said in a news release.

The Louisiana International Terminal will be constructed in the municipality of Violet, about 14 miles down the Mississippi River from the Port of New Orleans. Plans for the terminal include a 350-acre container facility with a 3,500-linear-foot wharf on more than 1,000 acres.

The new container terminal is aimed at eliminating air-draft restrictions that limit the size of vessels that can currently call the Port of New Orleans, officials said.

“This is exactly the type of investment that Louisiana and America need and builds upon our recent efforts to deepen the Mississippi River to handle the largest container vessels in the world,” U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., said in a statement. “The Louisiana International Terminal takes advantage of a newly deepened Mississippi River and Louisiana’s strong rail, highway, and maritime transportation network to connect our state even more closely to 31 states in the river’s northern watershed and the international market to our south.”

The terminal will be built through a public-private partnership between the Port of New Orleans, New Jersey-based Ports America and Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co.’s investment arm, Terminal Investment Limited. The partnership has already committed $800 million toward the project.

Louisiana lawmakers have already provided nearly $30 million toward early development costs for the project and $50 million for the design of the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor that will connect the terminal to the interstate system.

The Louisiana International Terminal project will generate about 32,000 jobs, including 4,300 in St. Bernard Parish and 18,000 in Louisiana, as well as more than $1 billion in state and local tax revenue by 2050, according to state officials.

“With this grant, the Port of New Orleans will be able to modernize and grow its operations for this century and ensure that it continues to be the economic driver for the entire region,” U.S. Rep. Troy Carter Sr., D-La., said in a statement.

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