US Gulf VLCC loading boost

Feb 01 2019

In what could be another boost for US crude exports, terminal and logistics provider Moda Midstream has commissioned upgrades to Berth 2A at the Moda Ingleside Energy Centre (MIEC) in Ingleside, Texas, to enable loading of VLCCs.

Moda said it undertook these upgrades to provide existing and potential customers the ability to safely and cost-effectively load VLCCs at rates of up to 80,000 barrels per hour.

“Today we are loading our fourth VLCC at MIEC since late December,” said Moda President and CEO, Bo McCall. “With today’s commissioning of our upgrades to Berth 2A, we now have the US Gulf Coast’s most efficient crude export loading rates. The combination of our enhanced loading rates, short transit times to the Gulf of Mexico and minimal port congestion allows us to provide our customers unmatched vessel turnaround times.”

Moda also announced a further expansion of its berths, which were originally designed by the US Navy to support a battleship and aircraft carrier group. Upon completion, MIEC will have combined vessel loading rates of 160,000 barrels per hour and improved berthing efficiencies.

MIEC has also worked extensively with the US Coast Guard and the Aransas-Corpus Christi pilots to ensure efficient transit times and safe berthing of vessels. In addition, the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project, when completed, will increase the depth from 47 ft below mean lower low water (MLLW) to 54 ft below MLLW, which will allow for larger cargoes to be loaded on VLCCs.

As part of the expansion programme, Moda has started constructing an additional 10 mill barrels of crude oil storage. Most of the new storage tanks will be placed in service throughout 2019, and the expansion will be complete by the second quarter of 2020.

As part of this programme, Moda has begun construction of a new manifold and inter-terminal piping to allow MIEC to receive direct ‘basin to berth’ deliveries from the Cactus II Pipeline, Gray Oak Pipeline and Epic Crude Oil Pipeline. These upgrades will be completed prior to the pipelines’ expected in-service dates.

“As the gateway to foreign markets for Permian and Eagle Ford crude production, MIEC has seen very strong customer demand, and we have had tremendous success in securing new customer commitments to support our ongoing expansion,” McCall said. “Based on current customer interest, we are evaluating additional expansion phases that would increase available storage and waterfront capabilities at our 900-acre site, allowing us to deliver exceptional service and reliability to new and existing customers.”

Already one of the largest crude export terminals in the US, MIEC has about 2.1 mill barrels of oil storage capacity and receives deliveries from the Cactus Oil Pipeline. MIEC has ample space for additional expansion opportunities, it claimed.


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