The city of New Orleans has shortlisted five companies for a long-term concession for the New Orleans Public Belt (NOPB) rail.
The companies shortlisted are:
The private partner or entity would assume the long-term business risks through the operational, capital improvements, maintenance and carrier responsibilities of the NOPB core rail operating assets in exchange for upfront, annual and/or revenue share payments over a term of 40 years.
The city has asked for a minimum of US$20 million upfront payment and US$1 million a year in the 40-year lease, although the five companies offered more money.
The NOPB is a Class III switching railroad owned by the City of New Orleans since 1908 and a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana. The primary mission of NOPB is to serve the Port of New Orleans and local industries. With its 26 miles of main track, 9 miles pertaining to the Huey P. Long Bridge, and 40 miles of terminals, yard, and other track, NOPB is a critical freight infrastructure link that connects the Port of New Orleans with six Class 1 railroads and helps expedite local and intermediate freight through the strategic New Orleans rail gateway.
The project is expected to be awarded in June.