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Port of New Orleans

Port of New Orleans Photo CC BY 3.0/Gnovick

Port of New Orleans Receives Federal Funding for New Mississippi River Container Terminal

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3106
December 26, 2023

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) has been awarded $73.77 million by the federal government to support the construction of a major new container terminal on the Mississippi River.

The funding will be provided through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s MEGA Grant Program and will be used for the first phase of the $1.8 billion Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) project. The terminal is expected to handle between 180,000 – 280,000 containers in its first year, with throughput increasing to 1.2 million containers (2 million TEU) per year in 25 years.

“The Louisiana International Terminal will become one of the greatest public economic development projects in Louisiana’s history,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “It is an investment that leverages the economic power of the Mississippi River and will expand opportunities for residents and business across our entire state and beyond. This is a direct result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law supported by Sen. Bill Cassidy and U.S. Rep. Troy Carter. It is a testament to the great things that can happen for our state when we work together.”

The new state-of-the-art container terminal, located in Violet, Louisiana, will eliminate air-draft restrictions that currently limit the size of vessels that can call on the Port of New Orleans. The The terminal will accommodate vessels of all sizes, significantly increasing Louisiana’s import and export capacity.

The grant award aligns with recent efforts to deepen the Mississippi River and enhance Louisiana’s transportation network.

The Louisiana International Terminal is the result of a historic public-private partnership between Port NOLA and two private terminal operators, Ports America and Mediterranean Shipping Company. Both companies have committed $800 million towards the project. Additionally, Louisiana lawmakers have already allocated nearly $30 million for early development costs, and the state has committed $50 million for the design of the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor, which will connect the terminal to the interstate system.

The construction of the Louisiana International Terminal is expected to generate 32,000 new jobs nationwide, including 18,000 in Louisiana and 4,300 in St. Bernard Parish. By 2050, it is projected to contribute over $1 billion in total new state and local tax revenue.

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