210505 Plaquemines port future image_2 MB

Maersk’s port operating arm, APM Terminals, is in the running to operate a new US Gulf coast container gateway.

It has signed an agreement with the Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District (PPHTD) in Louisiana to work on the development of a new greenfield facility.

Located on the Mississippi river, some 30km from its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico, PPHTD is investigating the construction of a deepwater container port and has set aside over 400ha for yards and 2.5km of river frontage for quay construction.

Phase One of construction is expected to last two years and will deliver the capability to handle 22,000 teu-class vessels. There will be the potential to expand capacity if needed, while the initial focus will be on installing modern infrastructure technology to withstand storm surges and wind damage.

Wim Lagaay, chief executive of APM Terminals North America, said “The appeal of Plaquemines’ protected river port location and export/import market strength makes this a unique supply chain offering for customers and our growth ambitions.”

The addition of APM Terminals to the project comes after a letter of intent was signed between the port authority, local property developers and maritime firm American Patriot Holdings, which has a 2,375 teu liner vessel and a 1,700 teu LNG-powered barge under development – both would be able to call at a host of Mississippi ports and represent the main inland connection to the port for importers and exporters.

PPHTD executive director Sandy Sanders said: “This will be the gateway port on the Gulf coast capable of taking full advantage of the distribution network on the Mississippi and tributary rivers, while reducing road congestion in the region and accommodating LNG-powered vessels to enhance environmental sustainability.”

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