Feature Photo: Gated entrance to Avery Point Terminal Oil Docks 3, 4, 7 and 11. Image: Google Streets.
Corpus Christi (Nueces County) — The Port of Corpus Christi received a federal grant exceeding $17 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation–Maritime Administration to expand Oil Dock 3 as the first of four phases in the redevelopment of the Avery Point Terminal.
Located on the Corpus Christi Ship Channel’s Inner Harbor, Avery Point is one of the port’s most productive public oil terminals, currently operating at over 84% capacity. The four ship docks, however, are more than 55 years old and require major rehabilitation or reconstruction to safely and efficiently accommodate today’s modern vessel fleet.
This high utilization prohibits the decommissioning and redevelopment without the creation of new berth capacity nearby to accommodate existing (and growing) demand during the reconstruction.
VBX has been tracking this project at 2017-0FFC. The grant announced today was for the full amount requested by the port authority last August, as reported in this VBX Sept. 6, 2019 article.
“Access to safe and efficient infrastructure is critical as more people and goods come to Texas each day,” said U.S. Senator John Cornyn. “I proudly supported the Port of Corpus Christi’s grant application, and I thank President Trump and Transportation Secretary Chao for supporting Texans in Corpus Christi.”
The $17.6 million grant will double barge berthing capacity at Oil Dock 3 (OD3), located on the easternmost edge of the terminal, to accommodate 90 percent of barge traffic currently calling on the other three Avery Point docks (Docks 4, 7 and 11).
This will create enough surplus capacity at the other three docks to allow phased decommissioning and redevelopment of each without any disruption of operations. The Port is committed to maintaining close coordination with all users of the Avery Point Terminal throughout the process to ensure continuity of operations.
“Our ports are an integral component of our nation’s economic success,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. “As the Administration continues to invest in America’s infrastructure, this program will further modernize and improve the efficiency of our waterways.”
Total project cost is estimated at $22 million, with $17.6 million coming from the Port Infrastructure Development Grant and the remaining balance coming from the Port of Corpus Christi (POCC).
POCC Commission Chairman Charles W. Zahn Jr. said, “We applaud the Administration’s foresight in supporting coastal infrastructure investments. As the Port of Corpus Christi continues to crusade for federal funding for this much needed infrastructure, we are thankful that the Administration and our Texas delegation are committed to energy independence, balance of trade and national security.”
The Port of Corpus Christi has experienced record growth, primarily driven by the increase in American energy production and exports. The Port saw record tonnage in 2019, moving 122.2 million cargo tons.
U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud, R-District 27, said, “The activity of cargo and barges passing through at the Port of Corpus Christi each day contributes to our region’s thriving economy. These funds will improve port infrastructure, providing increased access for our local businesses and industries to their trade partners.”
Edited from a Port of Corpus Christi press release.