Port NOLA awards contract for Louisiana International Terminal

Pictured are four new container gantry cranes being painted before they are ready for delivery to Port NOLA's Napoleon Avenue container facility. (Photo: Port of New Orleans)

Posted on September 9, 2021

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) has awarded a $4 million contract to HDR Engineering Inc. as part of the multiyear due diligence and permitting process for the new Louisiana International Terminal container facility.

As part of HDR’s three-year program management and control services contract with Port NOLA, the company will provide: terminal operation and related transportation development, risk management, procurement support, budget and schedule management, permitting and stakeholder coordination, and environmental compliance.

Port NOLA’s Louisiana International Terminal facility will be a $1.5 billion container terminal capable of handling 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually.

The port’s plans call for a 350-acre container facility with a 3,500-linear-foot wharf on more than 1,000 acres of developable greenfield property. The Louisiana International Terminal’s estimated opening will be in 2027.

“A project of this magnitude requires experienced program management for successful coordination of studies and design needed for a quality project,” Brandy D. Christian, president and CEO of Port NOLA and CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, said in a statement.

“HDR Engineering’s qualifications include broad expertise, a team that has worked together on similar large container port projects, and the deep resources of a global firm with local connections.”

Omaha, Nebraska-based HDR Engineering is an employee-owned design firm, specializing in engineering, architecture, environmental, and construction services. The company has 220 offices around the world, including offices in Baton Rouge, Metairie, and Lafayette, Louisiana.

One of HDR’s  most recent maritime projects was the Hugh Leatherman container terminal in Charleston, South Carolina.

The next steps for the Louisiana International Terminal project include finding a terminal operator and financial partners.

Port NOLA will also be adding four ship-to-shore gantry cranes to its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, which is in the process of a $100 million expansion that will increase the port’s container annual capacity to 1 million TEUs.

Port NOLA handled a total of 36,004 TEUs in July, a 17% year over year decrease from the same period in 2020.

The port handled 192,831 tons of breakbulk cargo, separate pieces rather than in containers, for the month, compared to 58,610 tons in July 2020.

The port handled 10,926 Class I railcar switches in May, an 8% increase year over year. The port handles switching operations for the six Class I railroads: BNSF Railway, Canadian National Railway, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific.

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