Port NOLA Awarded $74M Federal Grant for Louisiana International Terminal

NEW ORLEANS – From the Port of New Orleans:

Port NOLA will receive $73.77 million from the federal government to assist in building the Louisiana International Terminal project, which will provide an efficient gateway for the movement of cargo on the Mississippi River and the inland waterways of the United States.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has alerted Congress that it intends to award this funding through its MEGA Grant Program, which will support the first phase of the overall $1.8 billion project’s construction and is in addition to significant funding commitments from private industry partners and Port NOLA. This priority project for Louisiana garnered support from more than a dozen ports in six states and major trade and agriculture associations throughout the heartland of America.

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“I want to thank the Biden Administration, Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the U.S. Department of Transportation for selecting the Port of New Orleans to receive this award and recognizing its importance and powerful potential,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The Louisiana International Terminal will become one of the greatest public economic development projects in Louisiana’s history. It is an investment that leverages the economic power of the Mississippi River and will expand opportunities for residents and business across our entire state and beyond. This is a direct result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law supported by Sen. Bill Cassidy and U.S. Rep. Troy Carter. It is a testament to the great things that can happen for our state when we work together.”

The new container terminal in Violet, Louisiana, will eliminate air-draft restrictions that limit the size of vessels that can currently call on the Port of New Orleans. LIT will serve vessels of all sizes, dramatically increasing Louisiana’s import and export capacity while also fostering strategic inland growth.

“This is a great day for the Port of New Orleans and our state. The funding will not only benefit the Port but also create numerous jobs and boost our communities,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. “Because I had a seat at the table for the infrastructure law, Louisiana is punching above its weight in the amount of funding we are receiving. We are building an economy for 2050.”

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“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing critical investments in our water systems, roads, bridges, and broadband. Louisiana continues to receive outsized benefits from this historic legislation which I championed,” said U.S. Rep. Troy Carter, Sr. “With this grant, the Port of New Orleans will be able to modernize and grow its operations for this century and ensure that it continues to be the economic driver for the entire region.”

“This is exactly the type of investment that Louisiana and America need and builds upon our recent efforts to deepen the Mississippi River – America’s Commerce Superhighway – to handle the largest container vessels in the world,” said U.S. Rep. Garret Graves. “The Louisiana International Terminal takes advantage of a newly deepened Mississippi River and Louisiana’s strong rail, highway, and maritime transportation network to connect our state even more closely to 31 states in the river’s northern watershed and the international market to our south.”  

Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy D. Christian called the grant award a total team effort for the benefit of Louisiana and the nation.

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“On behalf of the entire team at the Port of New Orleans, I would like to thank Governor John Bel Edwards, Louisiana’s federal delegation and the Biden Administration for sharing our vision to build a new efficient gateway to serve the entire state of Louisiana and America’s Heartland,” Christian said. “With Louisiana’s unmatched inland connections and with no bridges in its way, the new Louisiana International Terminal will meet market demands for much-needed supply chain solutions and bring prosperity to our region for generations to come. This funding award builds on years of careful market analysis, planning, due diligence, and community outreach to ensure the project adequately addresses the market need and provides community benefits. We also look forward to working with the incoming State legislature and Administration to deliver this critical project.”

The Louisiana International Terminal will be built through a historic public-private partnership between Port NOLA and two private terminal operators. New Jersey-based Ports America, one of North America’s largest marine terminal operators, and Geneva, Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, through its terminal development and investment arm Terminal Investment Limited (TiL), have committed $800 million toward the project.

Additionally, Louisiana lawmakers have already provided nearly $30 million toward early development costs for the LIT project, currently in the federal permitting and design process. The state also committed $50 million for the design of the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor that will connect the terminal to the interstate system, delivering a road that has been sought for years by St. Bernard Parish leaders and residents.

LIT is the biggest public economic development project in the state of Louisiana. It’s expected to generate 32,000 new jobs nationwide, 18,000 here in Louisiana and 4,300 in St. Bernard Parish, as well as more than $1 billion in total new state and local tax revenue by 2050.

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