Freeport LNG Development, L.P. (Freeport LNG), and Port Freeport today announced the beginning of work on a project designed to widen the Port Freeport harbor channel.
On August 29, 2014, Freeport LNG, as project manager for Port Freeport’s channel-widening project, entered into an agreement with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC, to widen the entrance and jetty sections of the Port Freeport ship channel from the existing 400 feet width to 600 feet.
The channel’s reach extends from the port’s sea buoy to the U.S. Coast Guard station in Surfside for an approximate distance of 6.1 miles. Dredging will not disrupt the existing rock jetties at the entrance of the port and there will be no interference with ongoing shipping activities. The work is to be completed in May 2015.
Widening the channel entails removing approximately 3.2 million cubic yards of material, approximately 300,000 cubic yards of which is beach-quality sand. This beach-quality sand will be used for beach nourishment and placed on sections of the beach on Quintana Island.
“We are appreciative of the close collaboration among Port Freeport, the Brazos Pilots and Freeport LNG over the past few years to advance this project through all of the necessary approvals and we are pleased to be acting as project manager on behalf of Port Freeport,” said Mark Mallett, Senior VP, Operations and Projects, Freeport LNG. “Widening the Port Freeport ship channel will not only benefit the entire region but is another important piece of the puzzle for Freeport LNG’s overall expansion plans in Brazoria County.”
“We’re pleased to partner with Freeport LNG Development on this important milestone in the Port’s development,” said Glenn A. Carlson, Executive Port Director/CEO, Port Freeport. “Widening the channel will reduce traffic constraints, decrease vessel downtime and reduce shipping costs while facilitating Port Freeport’s future development and growth in cargo tonnage handled.”
Captain James Teeter, President, Brazos Pilots Association, said: “We look forward to working with all parties during construction. The widening project constitutes a significant improvement and increases the safety margin for vessels during transit of the Freeport ship channel. The Brazos Pilots view this project as an important step in improvements to the Freeport harbor complex leading to the consideration of an increased operational window for vessels.”