The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) has made significant progress on the Louisiana International Terminal in St. Bernard Parish, with a substantial investment in the region’s maritime infrastructure. The $1.5 billion container facility, strategically located on the Lower Mississippi River, is set to accommodate larger vessels, ensuring Louisiana remains a competitive force in the container industry. Without this terminal, the state risks losing thousands of jobs and billions in economic output over the next decade.
According to economist Dr. Dek Terrell, without a “big-ship ready” terminal, Louisiana could lose nearly 10,000 jobs and over $10 billion in economic output. Brandy D. Christian, President and CEO of Port NOLA, emphasized the critical role container shipping plays in the state’s economy, from stocking grocery stores to getting local products to market.
The Louisiana International Terminal isn’t just about maritime logistics; it’s a linchpin for the regional economy. Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc., highlighted the Port’s role in driving regional and national economic growth, providing thousands of jobs and generating tax revenue.
Port NOLA’s commitment to sustainability is evident in the ambitious plans for the terminal. Equipped with shore power, vessels can connect to onshore electricity, reducing ship-related emissions by up to 98%. Furthermore, the terminal will boast a largely electric fleet of equipment, marking a significant step towards a greener maritime industry.
The Louisiana International Terminal project has spurred a transformation of Lower St. Bernard, with the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor becoming a reality. This vital roadway will link Lower St. Bernard to the interstate system, supporting not only the terminal but also public access. With $50 million in funding secured, this corridor is set to reshape the region’s transportation landscape.
Port NOLA has listened to the community’s concerns and incorporated their feedback into the terminal’s design. The updated layout ensures St. Bernard Highway remains in its original location, while also introducing critical features like neighborhood buffers, an overpass, expanded cemetery space, and a dedicated bike and pedestrian path.
The Louisiana International Terminal promises to be a catalyst for economic growth, with projections indicating over 17,000 new direct and indirect jobs, $1 billion in state tax revenue, and a 15% increase in personal income in St. Bernard Parish by 2050. This project is not just about infrastructure; it’s about shaping Louisiana’s economic future on the global stage.
In its early stages of federal permitting, the project is poised to undergo rigorous environmental assessments. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will play a pivotal role in determining if construction permits will be granted, paving the way for this transformative endeavor.