APMT Signs On as Operator of New Mississippi River Container Port
The brand new deepwater container port in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana will be operated by Maersk Group's APM Terminals, the port's operator announced Wednesday.
After six months of talks, the Plaquemines Port, Harbor and Terminal District (PPHTD) and APM Terminals have signed a letter of intent that will make APMT the facility's operator. However, it is not a standard build-operate-transfer lease agreement: Plaquemines Port and its partners will still manage the finances of the infrastructure development, investment, and ownership of the port.
"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," said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. "Ports are economic engines and APM Terminals – a leader whose expertise is known globally – is ideally qualified to help us develop and operate one of the newest ports in the world."
The new terminal will have 50 feet of depth alongside, and it has 8,200 feet of river frontage and 1,000 acres of space. The first phase will be built to serve 22,000 TEU Megamax-24 vessels, leaving room for expansion.
The infrastructure will be built 16 feet above sea level, giving extra protection. To reduce the risk of flooding of the terminal site and surrounding area, the US Army Corps of Engineers is building a new federal levee system. This system will bring the flood protection to 14 feet and will tie back into the Mississippi River levees. The objective is to protect the site in the event of storm surge from a hurricane.
"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," said Wim Lagaay, the CEO of APMT North America.