Plaquemines Port Secures Rail & Land

port logo

Published Aug 13, 2021 10:29 AM by The Maritime Executive

[By: Plaquemines Port]

Plaquemines Port’s proposed gulf gateway container terminal has moved one step closer through partnerships with LA23 Development Company (Devco) and Sustainability Partners (SP) respectively, to secure land for the proposed container  terminal and design the rail logistics to the site.  

Devco, the Port’s exclusive private development partner, has secured the site for the proposed multi-modal, state-of-the-art Container Terminal located on the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana just 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.  

Chris Fetters, CEO of LA23 Devco, said “This is an exciting first step towards the project. Rail is a vital component to the success of the terminal and we are looking forward to the  
partnership with Sustainability Partners.” 

The site encompasses approximately 1,000 acres of land and 8,200 feet of Mississippi River  frontage. Situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River, 50 miles from the Gulf of  
Mexico, the proposed facility will provide access to the next generation state-of-the-art vessels with a capacity of up to 22,000 TEUs. The proposed environmentally-friendly, state of-the-art container terminal will be powered by natural gas, allowing for equipment and operations to utilize electric drive power; thus, eliminating the need for conventional diesel  drive motors.  

The proposed terminal will also transition truck traffic off the roads and move containers via  our nation’s marine highways to inland Midwest ports within the Mississippi River Basin  
exclusively by the American Patriot Holdings’ (APH) self-propelled vessels. The APH “liner” vessel is the work horse capable of 2,375 TEU capacity on the lower Mississippi River. The  
“hybrid” vessel is designed for transiting through the upper Mississippi River and tributary system with a payload of 1,800 TEU capacity. Together, these vessels provide Midwest shippers more flexible, reliable and cost-effective alternatives. 

On July 22, 2021, the Plaquemines Port Governing Authority approved the “notice to proceed” agreement with SP to begin connecting rail to the port campus. The $50 million  
project will be a public-private partnership between the Port and SP to extend rail access ten miles from river mile marker 61 to multiple Port terminal operators along the Mississippi  River corridor. This new extension will connect the proposed terminal to the Class I railroad  network including Union Pacific and BNSF, also situated on the west bank of the Mississippi  River.  
Tom Caine, CEO of Sustainability Partners, said, “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Plaquemines Port. This extension project best fits our business model of working  with public agencies.” 

The Port’s Executive Director Sandy Sanders stated “Our development partners provide us  the flexibility to leverage our opportunity with the private financing strategic elements of the  project without asking the State of Louisiana for any funding of our $1 Billion project.”  

Earlier this year, the Port’s Governing Authority voted unanimously to support the development of a container terminal in Plaquemines Parish. 

Planning, engineering, and permitting for the rail extension is expected to take 12 to 18 months. Construction is estimated to take between six and nine months upon approval of  
the permit.  

The Port is currently in a 120-day due diligence period with APM Terminals to determine market and financial impacts. 

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.