Ports & Terminals

Port NOLA Issues RFP For New Container Terminal

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for design and permit support services for the “Louisiana International Terminal,” which the port plans to build in the town of Violet, La., within St. Bernard Parish.

The port began acquiring portions of the 1,100-acre property late last year with the purchase of 81 acres along the Mississippi River that was privately owned. Over the next one to two years, the port plans to negotiate lease and purchase agreements with the St. Bernard Port Harbor & Terminal District for an eight-acre tract along the river, in addition to another 1,000 acres that are privately owned.

When fully built out, the new container terminal will offer access to six Class I railroads and Interstate 10, with no air draft restrictions, and be located within the levees and flood walls that make up the federal government’s Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System.

To be located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, the new container terminal will be able to berth multiple 23,000-TEU container ships, offer intermodal connectivity and provide space for other logistics and value-added businesses.

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“Port NOLA has initiated the permitting process with the goal of ensuring the industry’s largest container ships can access our docks with no water or air draft restrictions,” Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy Christian said in announcing the RFP. “We are taking the necessary steps to ensure a successful project that meets growing demand and drives freight-based economic growth for the region, state of Louisiana and nation.”

According to project criteria set for in the RFP, the Louisiana International Terminal will feature berths for three container ships and have a 2 million-TEU throughput capacity at full buildout. The container-handling portion of the property will cover 350 acres and have up to 3,500 linear feet of berth space. According to the port, the first phase of the terminal is expected to come online in July 2027 with a capacity of 600,000 TEUs. 

Project criteria also include wharf facilities designed to service container-on-barge vessels and container ships up to 400 meters (23,000 TEUs). Other required design components include the gate complex and interchange access to Judge Perez Drive and relocation of St. Bernard Highway and adjacent rail infrastructure. St. Bernard Highway runs near the river levee through Violet, while Judge Perez Drive is near the rear of the property.

The estimated construction budget for road, rail, wharf and terminal infrastructure is $450 million.

Proposals are due June 1. Additional information and specifications are available on the port’s procurement page, www.portnola.com/business/procurement. Interested parties must create an online profile in order to access RFP documents.

The port plans to award the design contract on July 22, with the 10 percent conceptual design due January 18, 2022. The 30 percent preliminary design will be due April 18, 2022.