US​$92M contract awarded to expand Corpus Christi Ship Channel as U.S. oil exports grow

Image: Port of Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An Illinois company has won a US$92 million contract to deepen and widen the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to accommodate larger oil tankers.

The Port of Corpus Christi on Thursday announced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers selected Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company. The federal government and the Port of Corpus Christi are funding the overall US$360 million ship channel project.

The port handled the first U.S. oil export shipment in 40 years in December 2015 and oil is now its number one outbound commodity.

The port achieved a milestone in April 2017 when the Suezmax-class tanker Cap Romuald was loaded with 930,000 barrels of oil, a single load representing more than three times its total 2010 outbound crude oil volume.

Plans include expanding the Corpus Christi Ship Channel from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island. The depth would increase from 47 feet (14 metres) to 54 feet (16 metres) from the jetties at the entrance to the channel.

The project comes amid replacement of the Harbor Bridge, which opened in 1959 and has a 138-foot (42 metres) clearance, with a larger span.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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