Major port terminal operators based in New Jersey and Switzerland have committed $800 million toward a planned $1.8 billion container facility on the Lower Mississippi River, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday.
New Jersey-based Ports America and Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, through its investment and development subsidiary Terminal Investment Limited, will partner with the state and with the Port of New Orleans on the project.
Edwards announced the latest plans for the Louisiana International Terminal in St. Bernard Parish during a visit to New Orleans. State officials said the facility will be able to serve vessels of all sizes, increasing Louisiana’s import and export capacity. Port officials say the project will create new jobs while preventing the loss of jobs to competing ports in Houston or Mobile, Alabama.
The new facility at Violet, downriver from New Orleans, will take advantage of deeper Mississippi River waters while eliminating any height restrictions from bridges spanning the river.
“This new terminal will also strengthen Louisiana’s ability to attract distribution centers, logistics services and value-added services through Port NOLA’s multimodal connectivity,” the state news release said.
The project is currently under review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Construction is slated to begin in 2025 and the first berth is to open in 2028.
State Sen. Sharon Hewitt said in the state’s news release that the Legislature and governor have committed $50 million to the project so far. “And I will continue to work with the Port of New Orleans, our federal delegation, and our local leaders to ensure that the infrastructure needed to support the Louisiana International Terminal is delivered timely,” Hewitt said.