Dredging contract awarded for Corpus Christi channel deepening project

Jan 11 2019

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has awarded a $92 mill construction contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co to deepen and widen the Corpus Christi Ship Channel (CCSC).

This channel expansion project will stretch from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island and will allow fully-loaded tankers access to and from the port.

The the depth of the channel will increase from 47 ft Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) to 54 ft from the jetties at the entrance of the ship channel to Harbor Island. The contract also calls for extending the shipping channel depth into the Gulf of Mexico to 56 ft.

“The award of this first dredging contract is without a doubt the most important development we will see in 2019,” said Charles Zahn, Chairman for the Port of Corpus Christi Commission. “Building critical infrastructure for the energy sector is our primary mission and will allow larger vessels access to much needed export facilities, safely and responsibly.”

Currently, the only terminal in the continental US that is capable handling fully loaded VLCCs is the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) located around 18 miles off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico.

In October last year, private equity firm The Carlyle Group signed an agreement with the Port of Corpus Christi to develop a major crude oil export terminal capable of handling VLCCs.

The terminal will be located on Harbor Island, which is situated on Red Fish Bay opposite the city of Aransas Pass, Texas. The site encompasses 256 acres of mostly undeveloped land that includes deepwater, a highway, and channel frontage.

In November, the USACE announced its fiscal year (FY) 2019 work plan an additional $59 mill in funding for the port’s channel improvement project, bringing the total Federal appropriations to $95 mill.


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