USA: Port Freeport Receives Positive Report on FHCIP
After eleven years of working with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on a Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project (FHCIP), Port Freeport received a positive report from the Chief of Engineers to deepen and widen the Freeport channel.
The report will be transmitted to Congress and recommends the project because it will contribute to the economic efficiency of commercial navigation in the region.
“This channel will help encourage additional investment in southern Brazoria County, help us attract even larger vessels to this area, retaining and creating more jobs and opportunity for local communities,” said Port Freeport Executive Port Director/CEO Glenn Carlson. “This positive Chief’s report will now open the door to federal funding for the project. Now it is up to Congress to allocate the funds.”
From environmental to economic, the FHCIP offers numerous advantages. At its current depth of 45 feet, the Port and local industry’s operational partnerships raised the economic impact of the Ports current channel from $10.2 billion per year to $17.9 billion within a three year period. The new channel could do more by attracting even larger ships and this additional vessel capacity is reflected in the USACE’s estimates which place the returns on the channel investment at almost two to one. The channel will also offer many benefits to Port Freeport, including improved navigation and safety.
“The new deeper, wider channel is just a few years away. Once completed, it will offer a safer, faster transit to ships with even larger payloads – saving both time and money,” Port Commission Chairman Bill Terry said. “The economic impact and long term benefits of this project to regional liner shipping companies, along with our local chemical and energy partners can’t be overstated.”
Port Freeport’s next step will be to begin the estimated three year preliminary engineering process with the USACE and seek federal funding to deepen the Freeport Harbor Channel to a depth of 55 feet from its current 45 feet.
Press Release, January 29, 2013