Plaquemines Port And APM Terminals Announce Operating Agreement
Plaquemines Port, Harbor and Terminal District (PPHTD) and APM Terminals have announced a letter of intent in which 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.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards applauded 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, 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,” he said. “Ports are economic engines, and APM Terminals is ideally qualified to help us develop and operate one of the newest ports in the world.”
50 Nautical Miles From Gulf
The facility is in the early stages of development as a 50-foot-deep, state-of-the-art container terminal in Plaquemines Parish, La. Located on the Mississippi River 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 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 as a Louisiana success story.”
PPHTD Executive Director Sandy Sanders said, “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.”
The port developers plan to build the container terminal 16 feet above sea level. The first phase of construction is expected to last two years and will deliver the capability to handle 22,000-TEU class vessels.
To reduce the risk of flooding of the terminal site and surrounding area, the Corps is building a new federal levee system that will bring the existing flood protection from a 4-foot height to a 14-foot height and will tie back into the Mississippi River levees at a height of 15 feet. Once completed, developers say, the system will be able to protect the site from storm surges similar to those of Hurricane Ida. Construction of the flood protection profile is scheduled for completion in spring 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.