APM Terminals and Plaquemines Port Forge $500 Million Partnership for Cutting-Edge Container Terminal

Strategic alliance promises a state-of-the-art gateway, set to redefine the Gulf Coast’s maritime landscape.

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Plaquemines Port has successfully executed a long-anticipated letter of intent with APM Terminals to embark on the establishment of a state-of-the-art container terminal in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. This strategic location is positioned approximately 50 miles upriver from the Mississippi’s mouth, a critical point that optimizes proximity to maritime transit routes.

Noteworthy is the fact that the proposed terminal at Plaquemines Parish will significantly reduce transit time, being 1.5 hours closer to the river’s mouth in a one-way trajectory compared to the next-nearest terminal. Moreover, it boasts the most expansive ship turning radius, amplifying its navigational efficiency. The port authority emphasizes a key competitive edge – unwavering support from the local community, setting it apart from a rival project initiated by the Port of New Orleans, which has encountered opposition at the local level.

Under the terms of the agreement, the port will lease a substantial waterfront parcel spanning approximately 200 acres to APM Terminals for a duration of 30 years. The agreement further incorporates provisions for extensions and expansion space, ensuring a sustainable and enduring collaboration.

In reciprocity, APM Terminals has undertaken a commitment to inject approximately $500 million into the comprehensive development of the terminal. The financing structure for this greenfield project will be privately funded, with a focus on accommodating post-Panamax container vessels along the Gulf Coast, thereby consolidating Maersk’s operational footprint.

The inception of this collaboration dates back to 2021, when APM Terminals and Plaquemines Port initially signed a letter of intent outlining their shared vision for the terminal’s development. Wim Lagaay, APM Terminals’ Senior Investment Advisor, envisions the greenfield site evolving into a pivotal U.S. gateway for large vessels, highlighting the opportunity to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and sustainable practices from the ground up.

Financially sound and well-positioned for this venture, A.P Moller-Maersk, the parent company of APM Terminals, demonstrated resilience and profitability during the late-pandemic cargo surge. As of the end of Q3 2023, Maersk retained an impressive $7.6 billion in cash, fortifying its capacity to undertake transformative infrastructure projects.

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry expressed confidence in the venture, acknowledging APM Terminals’ global leadership in container terminal operations and portraying Louisiana as a dynamic hub for burgeoning port activity. Plaquemines Port, in collaboration with the LA23 Development Company, secured the land in 2021, encompassing 8,200 feet of river frontage and 1,000 acres on the river’s west bank, setting the stage for a transformative milestone in the region’s maritime landscape.

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