By MarEx 2015-09-04 14:55:47
After seven years of planning, development of a deepwater port off the coast of Plaquemines Parish is underway. On August 31, the Louisiana International Deepwater Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority (LIGTT) announced that LIGTT Midstream Holdings would construct the port’s first phase, a dry bulk terminal, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
The terminal will serve as a cargo transfer point for megaships that are too large to navigate the lower Mississippi. Using a hub-and-spoke distribution system, the transfer terminal will be capable of offloading eight 18,000-TEU ships simultaneously. And while the average U.S. port has a depth of 35 feet, the transfer terminal will have water depths of more than 80 feet.
The $25 million terminal is being financed through a combination of traditional and investment capital from an unnamed joint venture. The full development is expected to cost about $10 billion. According to LIGTT officials, the decision was made to develop the least costly phase of the port first to begin generating revenue that could eventually entice investors to finance the port’s more expensive phases. The megaport is expected to be completed in 2020.
Officials plan on submitting applications for the necessary permits with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shortly and anticipate that they will be properly licensed in a year.
LIGTT Midstream Holdings is led by attorney Tom Thornhill and developer Jim Woodworth. Bechtel Corp., Evans Graves Engineers and Waldemar Nelson are providing engineering, design and permitting services.