Expansion of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Begins

Port of Corpus Christi

By The Maritime Executive 05-29-2019 05:47:04

The Port of Corpus Christi celebrated the commencement of the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project on Wednesday, spotlighting the first Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company dredgers in the Gulf.

The channel will be deepened 47 to 54 feet and widened from 400 to 530 feet as the port prepares to accommodate major growth in crude oil production.

Following the 40-year ban on crude oil exports, the Port of Corpus Christi handled the first shipment of U.S. crude oil abroad on December 31, 2015. Its location on the Gulf of Mexico and proximity to the West Texas oil and gas boom drove demand and traffic for the Port of Corpus Christi. Three years later, in 2018, the Port of Corpus Christi exported $10.8 billion worth of crude oil to U.S. trading partners. The Port is currently the fourth largest port in the U.S. in total tonnage, and the expectation is that the Port's crude oil exports will triple, and perhaps quadruple, as production continues to increase.

For the second year, the Port of Corpus Christi’s Ship Channel Improvement Project was included in the President’s Budget for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Navigation Construction that was released in March by the White House. 

In December 2018, Cheniere Energy loaded its first LNG commissioning cargo from its Corpus Christi terminal, the first LNG cargo ever exported from the state of Texas. The Corpus Christi liquefaction facility consists of three large-scale LNG trains, with an additional seven smaller trains proposed. Train 2 is expected to reach completion in the second half of 2019, and Train 3 in the second half of 2021. At full build-out - with the seven smaller trains - the $13 billion Corpus Christi LNG terminal would have a maximum capacity of 23 million tonnes per annum.