Rendering of the finished site, featuring two wharfs capable of accommodating 1200-foot vessels and a storage capacity as high as 10 million barrels. (Credit: Business Wire)
The initial water-side phase includes the construction of two deep water berths for tankers and one barge dock. (Credit: Erich Westendarp from Pixabay)
The NOLA Oil Terminal will have the capacity to accommodate tankers up to 170,000 dwt (deadweight metric tonnes) at each dock. (Credit: David Mark from Pixabay)

NOLA Oil Terminal is an oil and refined products terminal project being developed in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, the US.

As a company, NOLA Oil Terminal was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur duo Christian Amedee and Principal Engineer Roy M. Carubba.

After purchasing the location, Amedee conducted a study of the site and devised draft designs for the terminal. Real estate agency The McEnery Company was also hired by private clients and institutional lenders to provide its opinion on the market value of the terminal.

The terminal is planned to be built in two phases with a total investment of $930m. It will include an area of 158 acres located at Mile Marker 59 on the lower Mississippi River.

The project will feature crude oil pipelines, ship, and barge dock system along with land-side storage facilities.

Upon completion, the terminal will be capable of accommodating New-Panamax vessels for loading and unloading crude oil and other clean petroleum products.

The NOLA Oil Terminal has been issued a permit by the Army Corps of Engineers for the construction of two docks along the river, and also by Plaquemines Parish for the development of the storage tank farm and pipeline network.

Project Development

All necessary permits for the project are already secured. Site preparation works and environmental studies are also complete.

Throughout the construction period, the project will create around 1,000 jobs. Once operational, the terminal will generate 30 to 40 permanent positions.

Phase I of NOLA Oil Terminal

The first phase of the construction, which began in mid-October 2021, involves building the wharves and docks of the terminal.

The water-side phase will include the construction of two deep water berths for tankers and one barge dock. The two deep-water berths will have a capacity of mooring 170,000-tonne vessels. The barge dock can be utilised by both inland and ocean-going tank barges.

Construction works are expected to be completed in mid-2022. The first phase of the project is expected to cost around $300m. The funding was approved in 2021 and marked the largest bond issue approved by the Port of Plaquemines in more than 50 years.

Phase II of NOLA Oil Terminal

The second phase of the terminal will include the construction of land-side section of the terminal including the development of a storage capacity of up to 10 million barrels of crude oil and clean petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

The terminal will also offer blending, storage and tank-to-tank transferring capabilities.

Currently, Phase II is in the development phase. It also includes the option of constructing two additional docks.

The scope of work and timeline will be finalised after determining the final funding for the second phase.

Ship & Barge Dock

Upon completion, the NOLA Oil Terminal will have the capacity to accommodate tankers up to 170,000 dwt (deadweight metric tonnes) at each dock.

Each dock is expected to serve two oceanic vessels every week, and the barge docks will be capable of processing up to 120 barges per week per dock.

Benefits of site location

NOLA Oil Terminal will be the first in the region to accommodate New-Panamax ships. It will be able to berth tankers 1,200 ft in length, 160-foot beam, 190-foot height, and 50-foot draft. These vessels can carry 1,000,000 barrels of cargo.

The terminal will be the Mississippi River’s nearest liquid bulk terminal to the Gulf of Mexico generating significant cost benefits compared to other terminals on the river.

The location also has considerably lesser traffic making it much safer for the vessels to navigate.

The terminal is planned at a naturally scouring bank, meaning the Mississippi River’s flow will maintain the draft naturally, without the need for dredging.

It will also offer access to multiple existing crude oil pipelines.