The Port of Corpus Christi said in their latest announcement that they approved a bond resolution authorizing the port to issue up to $217 million in revenue bonds to help finance major capital improvements, including the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
“The financing will allow the port to continue developing more terminals, rail, and channel improvements needed to handle the burgeoning oil and gas volumes from the region’s large energy producing fields,” they stated.
At the epicenter of the port’s 10-year capital investment program is the deepening and widening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
Currently at a depth of 45 feet, the ship channel will be dredged to 54 feet to accommodate Suezmax and larger vessels, and widened to 530 feet to allow for two-way traffic flows, positioning the Port of Corpus Christi as the deepest draft navigation port in the U.S. Gulf.
These enhancements are designed to handle the growing export volumes of U.S. crude and natural gas, which have propelled the Port of Corpus Christi to what is now the largest energy export port in the U.S. by volume, the port said.
“We are pleased the Commission approved this bond resolution and look forward to a successful round of financing,” said Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the Port of Corpus Christi.
“With the growth our customers are experiencing, coupled with our P3 (Public Private Partnership) development structures, this additional financing will augment our already strong balance sheet and position the South Texas Coastal Bend for further prosperity.”
News of the bond approval comes on the heels of another major announcement earlier this month when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) included nearly $23 million in its FY18 Work Plan for the Corpus Christi Channel Improvement Project.
The $335 million project has now received over $138 million in Federal and Port contributed funds, with dredging operations scheduled to begin later this year.