Port Bureau Updates

March 2017 Commerce Club
Michael D. Emerson
Director, Marine Transportation Systems, U.S. Coast Guard

Our guest speaker at the Port Bureau’s March 9th Commerce Club at Brady’s Landing will be Michael D. Emerson, Marine Transportation Systems and Senior Arctic Policy Advisor at Coast Guard Headquarters. He manages a broad portfolio of marine navigation, waterway, and bridge programs, and is also responsible for a wide variety of Polar and Arctic safety and security initiatives. Emerson returned to Coast Guard Headquarters in August 2015, following a three year assignment in the Office of Operations at the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters.

Emerson retired from the Coast Guard in 2014, after 30 years of service. His tours of duty included Senior Fellow for the CNO Strategic Studies Group in Newport, Rhode Island; Chief of Aviation Forces at Coast Guard Headquarters; Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida; Chief of Drug Interdiction at Coast Guard Headquarters; four tours in aviation as a C-130 pilot, and two tours at sea.

Emerson graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Government Degree and has since received a Masters Degree in Military Studies from the Marine Corps University, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from American Military University.

Register online at txgulf.org/events/commerce-club. Thank you to our Annual Sponsors: Houston Pilots, Moran Shipping Agencies, Regions Bank, Richardson Companies, and West Gulf Maritime Association. Thank you to our March sponsors: Buffalo Marine Service, Inc., American Commercial Barge Line, and Contanda Terminals.

Port of Brownsville Administrative Offices Temporarily Relocate to Keppel AmFELS

The Port of Brownsville Administrative Office moved to a temporary location at Keppel AmFELS, 20000 SH 48, Brownsville, Texas while the port’s administration complex at 1000 Foust Road undergoes a complete renovation and expansion. The construction project is expected to take approximately 18 months.

Hours of operation at the new location continue as Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All visitors to the temporary port office will be required to show proper government-issued photo identification at the Keppel AmFELS security gate.

Additionally, the Overweight Permit office will be temporarily housed at the Foust Road entrance guard house. Parking for truck drivers acquiring permits will continue at Fishprint Road, across the street from the current port administrative building. To avoid delays, drivers are urged to obtain permits online at https://texas.promiles.com/brownsville/

The port’s mailing address remains 1000 Foust Road, Brownsville, TX 78521.

Enterprise to Add New Facility in Mont Belvieu

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. announced plans on January 30, 2017, to construct a new isobutane dehydrogenation (iBDH) unit in Mont Belvieu, Texas that will have the capability to produce 425,000 tons per year of isobutylene. The project, which is supported by long-term contracts with investment-grade customers, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019. The isobutylene produced by the plant will provide the necessary feedstock to fill underutilized capacity at Enterprise’s existing downstream octane enhancement and petrochemical facilities.

“The construction of this new iBDH plant will extend our butane value chain and allow full utilization of our existing olefins assets,” said A.J. “Jim” Teague, chief executive officer of Enterprise’s general partner. “In developing this project, we are leveraging Enterprise’s extensive integrated midstream network to turn a plentiful, cost-advantaged natural gas liquid into a higher-valued product.”

The new iBDH plant will increase Enterprise’s production of both high purity and low purity isobutylene to be used primarily as feedstock to manufacture lubricants, rubber products and alkylate for gasoline blendstock, as well as MTBE for export.

Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District Brings Added Knowledge for Coastal Protection

Last month we provided an update on the work being done for coastal protection along the Upper Texas Gulf Coast.  In addition to the plans we have covered, another group has been working with local officials to protect the Texas Gulf Coast.  The Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District (GCCPRD) has been working with the General Land Office to conduct a study on Storm Surge Suppression.  The three-phase study was concluded in June 2016.  The GCCPRD adds to the growing list of groups fighting for coastal protection.  More information about the GCCPRD and their study can be found at www.gccprd.com.

Specialized Training for Area Fire Departments Funded by LyondellBasell

LyondellBasell recently announced a donation of $100,000 to fund specialized emergency training for six Houston-area fire departments that serve key industrial corridors. The donation underwrites hazardous materials training scholarships for fire departments in Houston, Channelview, Pasadena, La Porte, Sheldon and Mont Belvieu. Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), an internationally-recognized leader in emergency response training and firefighting, will administer the training to the fire departments. 


  • Date February 14, 2017
  • Tags February 2017