The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) has taken delivery of four new post-Panamax gantry cranes for its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.
The four 100-foot-gauge container gantry cranes have recently arrived from Shanghai and are said to be essential to Port NOLA’s overall plan for the gateway, which includes optimising facilities in New Orleans and building the Louisiana International Terminal, a new container terminal in St. Bernard Parish.
The project was initially approved by the port’s Board of Commissioners in 2019 and required a total investment of $112 million. In this investment, $49 million was needed for the construction and the delivery of the cranes, and $63 million was used to modernise the port’s wharf and extend its crane rail infrastructure.
“This is an exciting example of Louisiana investing in port infrastructure to support the nation’s supply chain of the future. It is a great day for the Port of New Orleans and the outstanding men and women who work on the Lower Mississippi River,” said John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana.
“Containerised cargo has more than doubled over the last decade at the Port of New Orleans and this investment positions Louisiana to grow a major economic engine and job creator.”
Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. Ltd (ZPMC) manufactured and delivered these fully electric cranes to the terminal on 9 December 2021.
Due to the electric nature of the machinery, it means zero emissions will be emitted when in operation while also being able to reach containerised cargo stacked 20 containers across a ship. This will allow the port to handle larger vessels more efficiently.
Brandy Christian, President and CEO of Port NOLA, added “I want to thank Governor Edwards and members of the legislature for supporting international trade in Louisiana. This investment makes Port NOLA more competitive in the global trade-based economy and grows family-supporting maritime jobs here at home. The new cranes increase efficiency through the Louisiana gateway and help fuel our economy.”
Shawn Wilson, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), also commented “Louisiana’s natural multimodal environment is our greatest asset, the core of which is the Mississippi River. These cranes are evidence to the world that our state and DOTD, in partnership with the Port of New Orleans, remains committed to multimodal infrastructure, global goods movement, and doing our part to ensure supply chain stability.”
The installation of these new cranes and the extension of crane rail infrastructure is the first of three phases to expand the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. Phase two, labelled the Priority Enhancements Project, will include a $10.23 million investment scheduled for completion by the end of 2022. The final phase is known as the Terminal Complex Modernization Program and invests a further $21.5 million into the terminal.
Port NOLA also recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tangipahoa Parish Economic Development to grow trade, as well as support existing and new business relationships for the state of Louisiana.
Announced in May 2021, both parties were said to leverage technical expertise and other resources to drive mutual economic benefits, particularly through value-added manufacturing, product assembly, distribution, and logistics centres.