Port of Corpus Christi Bolstering Its Suezmax Terminal Capacity

The U.S. crude export major, the Port of Corpus Christi, is looking to build up its export capacity through the addition of a marine terminal.

Namely, during a meeting held on Thursday, March 22, the commissioners of the port approved a lease agreement with CCI Corpus Christi Infrastructure LLC (CCI) for approximately 55 acres of land on the north side of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel in the Inner Harbor.

The land will be used for the construction and operation of a marine terminal facility intended for exporting U.S. crude oil, condensate and refined petroleum products via a new oil dock.

As agreed, the port will construct a new oil dock, which will be exclusively used by CCI. The company will be in charge of installing the loading arms, handling equipment, storage tanks and other facilities. The new terminal will be able to accommodate Suezmax tankers.

 “This lease agreement aligns with the port’s vision to be the Energy Port of the Americas and the strategic plan goal by supporting the infrastructure developments necessary to move increasing volumes of US-produced energy toward global markets,” Charles W. Zahn, Chairman Port Commission, said.

The need for capacity buildup comes at a time of a major boom for U.S. seaborne crude oil exports.

Ports based in Texas and Louisiana on the U.S. Gulf Coast, are responsible for 80 pct of all seaborne oil products exported in 2017, BIMCO said in a report.

From 2016 to 2017, the port of Corpus Christi’s crude oil exports increased by 267 pct from an average of 83,488 BPD, to 306,334 BPD, the port’s figures show.

Following a seasonal surge in December 2017, the U.S. seaborne export of oil products reached the highest annual level ever, in terms of volume and tonne miles demand, according to BIMCO.

Volumes of U.S. seaborne exports of oil products increased by 9 pct in 2017 compared to 2016.