NOLA Oil Terminal LLC has begun construction on the first phase of a $930 million oil and refined products terminal on the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, LA.

NOLA

“NOLA Oil Terminal will be the first of its kind in the region, allowing Mississippi River access for much larger vessels, such as the New-Panamax and the Suezmax,” the company said Tuesday, referring to the largest vessels able to transit the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal.

The initial water-side phase of the project, slated for completion in mid-2022, includes two deep water berths capable of mooring 170,000-ton vessels and a barge dock serving both inland and oceangoing tank barges. The phase two land-side portion is still in the development stage, and expected to have storage capacity of up to 10 million bbl.

“Crude oil and clean petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel are significant trade products for Louisiana, but we aren’t able to take advantage of the larger vessels,” said COO Christian Amedee. “That changes today. This terminal will be the first in the area…to accommodate vessels which currently are too large and deep to dock in the Mississippi River or in most Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Seaboard ports.”

Amedee added, “The positive impact on Louisiana’s economy will be immense.”

Nola Oil Terminal was ​​founded in 2013 by Amedee and principal engineer Roy Carubba. According to the firm’s website, Amedee conceived the project while working as a General Contractor and building an addition to a petrochemical laboratory in St. Rose, LA.

CEO Patrick Kelly’s background is as a private equity and family wealth fund advisor.

Benny Rousselle, former chairman of the Port of Plaquemines, said, “This boost to our economy couldn’t come at a better time, and NOLA Oil Terminal represents the kinds of projects Plaquemines Parish is looking for.

“Not only will this flagship be an economic driver for the Parish, but it will also put us on the map as the first deepwater wharf able to accommodate these massive tankers, signaling a bright economic future for Plaquemines Parish.”

Upon completion, the terminal would be able to accommodate up to six tankers each week. 

“In addition to opening new channels to import and export crude oil and other clean petroleum products, NOLA Oil Terminal expects to create over 1,000 construction jobs through completion of phases one and two,” the company said. “Additionally, the completed terminal is expected to sustain from 30 to 40 permanent jobs in Plaquemines Parish.”

The first phase is to be funded by a $300 million bond issue approved last summer. It was the largest bond issue approved by the Port of Plaquemines in more than 50 years.

“All required permits are in place, and site preparation including side clearing, open channel drainage, construction access roadways, geotechnical investigations and pile load tests, and environmental studies is completed,” the company said. said.

The project would be at mile marker 59 on the lower Mississippi.

New-Panamax vessels are 1,201 feet long, with maximum deadweight tonnage (DWT) of 120,000. Suezmax vessels boast a 1,300-foot length and 200,000 DWT.

For the four-week period ended Dec. 4, net imports of crude oil totaled 2.87 million b/d while net exports of petroleum products reached 2.85 million b/d, as domestic oil production reached a 2021 high for a second straight week.

The United States was a net exporter of both crude oil and petroleum products during the first half of 2021, the second time in history this has occurred, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The first time was in the first half of 2020. The United States has been a net petroleum products exporter since 2011.