Port NOLA Announces $226 Million Grant For New Container Terminal
The Port of New Orleans took a big step toward full funding for its planned container terminal in Violet, La., January 22 with the announcement of a $226.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program.
Besides the newly announced grant, the U.S. Department of Transportation also recently awarded the Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) project $73.8 million through the MEGA grant program for a total of $300 million from the federal government bound for the $1.8 billion container terminal project.
“This money to build a new terminal in the Port of New Orleans is good for commerce, good for jobs and good for coastal communities,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said. “Because I had a seat at the table for the infrastructure law, Louisiana is punching above its weight in the funding coming to our state.”
“This grant funding is a historic step toward transforming the economic landscape of Louisiana and solidifying our position as the premier international Gulf gateway,” said Rep. Troy Carter (D-La.), who represents Louisiana’s second congressional district. “This additional investment will leverage Port NOLA’s extensive connectivity to interstate systems, railroads, waterways and hubs. This is yet another example of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law bringing critical investments to our great state, and I am proud to see the legislation I championed yield big results.”
Unlike the port’s existing Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, located above the Crescent City Connection bridge, LIT will offer deepwater access with no height restrictions for ships. The new terminal will also offer connections to major interstate systems, including I-10 and I-59, six Class I railroads and the inland waterways via the Mississippi River and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
“We are incredibly honored to receive this landmark grand award, which underscores decades of site and market analysis and reflects the recognition of our transformational project on a global scale,” Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy Christian said. “Not only is this the biggest economic development grant in Louisiana history, but also the largest federal investment in a new container terminal in U.S. DOT history. We express our deepest appreciation to Louisiana’s federal delegation, state leadership and the Biden administration for their confidence in our vision and look forward to delivering on this investment.”
Besides the two federal grants, LIT will receive $800 million through a public-private partnership between Port NOLA, New Jersey-based Ports America and Terminal Investment Limited, the terminal development and investment arm of Mediterranean Shipping Company. The port has committed $500 million, while Louisiana has already supplied close to $30 million in early site development costs.
Funding committed to the project thus far has totaled $1.63 billion. In addition, the state has set aside $50 million for the design of the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor, a planned elevated roadway that will connect the terminal and St. Bernard Parish residents to I-10.
According to the port, the LIT project is expected to generate 32,000 new jobs nationwide, with 18,000 new jobs in Louisiana and 4,300 new jobs in St. Bernard Parish. The terminal is estimated to generate more than $1 billion in state and local tax income by 2050.
While the Port of New Orleans has already acquired the property for the terminal, the project remains in the permitting process.
“We continue to proceed through the federal permit process overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Kimberly Curth, the port’s press secretary. “We are still anticipating receiving the necessary permits in 2025 and beginning construction immediately after that.”
If construction begins in 2025, the port anticipates the first wharf coming online in 2028.