Port of Corpus Christi Posts Record Year for Energy Cargoes

File image

Published Jan 16, 2020 8:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Port of Corpus Christi ended 2019 with record tonnage numbers - 13.8 million cargo tons for the month of December and 122.2 million cargo tons for the entire year. This marks a 16-million-ton increase over 2018, with growth led by rising exports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas.

The growth in crude exports is mainly due to the completion of two new pipelines from the Permian Basin. The Cactus II and EPIC crude pipelines came online in Q3 of 2019, boosting the port to a record fourth quarter. Overall, year-over-year gains in crude production led to a nearly 27 percent jump in crude exports from the Port of Corpus Christi.

LNG exports increased by 6.6 million tons overall in 2019, a result of Cheniere Energy's Corpus Christi terminal increasing production with the commissioning of its first train in November 2018 and its second train in late 2019.

“These record-setting figures are not only indicative of a resilient energy export market, but are also reflective of the large infrastructure investments made by both private industry and the Port Authority,” said Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi. "As we continue to be thoughtful in converting these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities into job-creating enterprises, we remain steadfast in our commitment to serving all our customers through creating value and certainty for their businesses."

Additional milestones in 2019 included the commencement of the long-awaited Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project, a near-fully funded federal project to deepen the main channel to 54 feet (MLLW) and widen the channel to 530 feet. The port also signed its largest ever marine terminal lease agreement - a new (and locally controversial) crude export terminal on Harbor Island, an industrial site just inside of the channel entrance in Port Aransas.