Dredging is underway at Ingleside, on the bay at Port Aransas, to allow for supertankers and to build berths across the ship channel. This is because the Port Authority of Corpus Christi plans to build a crude oil loading terminal and desalinization plant on nearby Harbor Island.

But local protests have now got underway in opposition to this plan. The channel is already used by about 4,900 barges and 1,900 large ships a year, but is now being made suitable for VLCCs. Plans for the island include berths for four VLCCs and dredging a deep channel 10 miles into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the Port Authority of Corpus Christi, said: “Harbor Island has a long and rich history of industrial development. It was once the largest crude marine terminal in the world.”

Its stated objective is now to become ‘the energy port of the Americas’. The port, which has experienced tremendous growth since the US lifted the ban on exporting oil in 2015, is now flush with ambition, projects and cash.

About 2.2 million barrels of oil, most of it piped in from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford shale plays, moves through the port every day. The volume could more than double when plans go ahead: “In our view, 5 million barrels a day is the target for Corpus Christi,” said Strawbridge.

The port has already signed a deal with Lone Star Ports to operate one VLCC loading terminal on Harbor Island. Another company, Axis Midstream of Houston, also intends to build a terminal on the island.

For more information visit portofcc.com

14th March 2020