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Port of Corpus Christi thrives with energy projects, milestones

The Port of Corpus Christi has become the Energy Port of North America with the lifting of the crude oil export ban two years ago. The ban, which was lifted by Congress, had been in place 40 years. Courtesy Photo

The Port of Corpus Christi continues to grow, with announcements of new leases, groundbreakings, pipelines and milestones coming almost daily. Often called the “Energy Port of North America,” the Port of Corpus Christi continues to see the positive effects of the lifting of a 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil. In the two years since that ban was lifted by Congress, the Port of Corpus Christi has been the center of attention in the industry.

Just recently, the following three announcements were made:

NEW CRUDE OIL TERMINAL

The port will lease 22 acres to Vitol Inc. and Harvest Pipeline Co. to house a new crude oil storage terminal. With six new pipelines already under construction and heading through the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford shale plays, more storage will be necessary to hold product for refineries and export ships.

“Crude demand, particularly in emerging markets, continues to grow, and U.S. shale has an important role to play in satisfying this demand,” said Mark Couling, head of Crude Oil for Vitol, in a news release. “Our new pipeline and terminal will facilitate the efficient delivery of U.S. crude to global markets, thereby increasing marketing opportunities and optimizing value for U.S. producers.”

CARGO DOCK LEASE

Another lease agreement was recently approved between the port and ExxonMobil-Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp. for a multipurpose cargo dock and marine terminal. The facilities will support ExxonMobil’s proposed ethane steam cracker plant, which should be under construction in the next two years in the Gregory-Portland area. The plant is currently waiting for air quality permit approvals from environmental agencies.

ExxonMobil expects to produce and export monoethylene glycol and polyethylene from the port to points around the world. Both products are used in manufacturing plastics.

WINDMILL MILESTONE

As 2017 drew to a close, the Port of Corpus Christi reached a new milestone. The port has handled more then 3,000 wind turbine components over the last year compared to 2,603 in 2015 and 2,875 in 2016.

With that number continuing to grow, the port’s commissioners approved construction of a new 25-acre laydown yard for storing wind turbine parts. The area will be ready for use by the middle of the year.

“Port Corpus Christi is proud to offer customized logistics solutions for the fast-growing wind energy industry in North America,” said Jarl Pedersen, the port’s chief commercial officer, in a statement. “Port authorities play an important role within the supply chain to help customers and users successfully execute major wind turbine projects. We also recognize the continued innovation in the wind energy industry and need to make infrastructure investments allowing us to offer competitive solutions for transport of ever-larger wind turbine components.”

RELATED NEWS

Corpus Christi pipeline construction begins

Port Corpus Christi buys more land to lease

Railroad Commissioner makes Port Corpus Christi a priority

Record load of crude oil leaves Port Corpus Christi

Port Corpus Christi to deepen ship channel

Another pipeline, gas plant coming to Corpus Christi

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