Port Bureau Updates

Congressman John Culberson
7th District of Texas
Thursday, August 10, 2017 Commerce Club Luncheon

John Culberson was elected in 2000 to represent the 7th District, a seat formerly held by President George H. W. Bush and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer. In Congress, John’s priorities include restoring the 10th amendment, strengthening the economy by cutting taxes, creating jobs, and balancing the budget, securing the border, advancing medical and scientific research, and improving Houston transportation.

John is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for funding the federal government. His subcommittee assignments include the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Subcommittee, Homeland Security Subcommittee, and the Transportation Housing & Urban Development Subcommittee. In November 2014, John was selected to lead the CJS Subcommittee, which oversees the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation, and other related agencies.

Thank you to our Annual Table Sponsors Enterprise Products Partners L.P., Houston Pilots, Moran Shipping Agencies, Regions Bank, Richardson Companies, Targa Resources and West Gulf Maritime Association. Register for the Commerce Club luncheons by visiting www.txgulf.org/events/commerce-club or by calling the Port Bureau at 713-678-4300.

USS Independence Arrives at Port of Brownsville

The USS Independence completed its final voyage of 16,000 miles after arriving at the Port of Brownsville on June 1, 2017. However, the decommissioned aircraft carrier’s service is far from over as some of its steel will be used in the construction of new Navy vessels.

“We recognize that this is a sentimental time for many. Some may view this as an ending, for others it’s a new beginning,” said John Wood, Brownsville Navigation District chairman, at a special ceremony held by International Shipbreaking Ltd. (ISL) at Isla Blanca Park at South Padre Island. “In her new role, the USS Independence will provide a hopeful future for hundreds of local men and women. Through the jobs created through her repurposing, she will live on, and continue to serve.”

ISL won the Navy bid to recycle the 60,000-ton vessel, the last of the Forrestal-class of “supercarriers.” This will be the third vessel of its kind to be recycled by the company, which is part of the EMR Group. ISL lifted the last piece of the former USS Constellation out of the water on May 10, making way for the arrival of the USS Independence.

“Preparations at the Brownsville yard are complete and the team is excited for her arrival,” said Chris Green, ISL president, days before the vessel’s arrival. “We take great pride in having been awarded another US Navy ship recycling contract to dismantle this historic vessel in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

The carrier will undergo an extensive dismantling and recycling process expected to take around a year and a half to complete and will generate about 160 jobs locally, added Robert Berry, vice president of ISL.

The Independence is expected to produce about 51,000 tons of copper, brass, steel, armored plate and other metals. Berry said that the scrap metal will end up in steel mills in Mexico and other parts of the world. However, the armored plate, a high-end type of hardened steel, will be sent to the East Coast where it will eventually end up as part of another aircraft carrier.

“Between 14,000 to 19,000 tons of armored plate will all go to Pennsylvania. That steel will be melted down and made into armor for the next vessel the Navy will build,” added Berry.

“Dismantling such a large vessel is an enormous undertaking, but it’s important to remember that the carriers themselves have a significant sentimental meaning for the people who were stationed on them throughout their life,” Green said.

The Independence was home to tens of thousands of veterans throughout its 39-years of service, until it was decommissioned in 1998.

Kirby Corp Acquires Stewart & Stevenson

Kirby Corporation (“Kirby”) announced on June 13, 2017, the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets and businesses of Stewart & Stevenson LLC (“Stewart & Stevenson”), for approximately $710 million.

Stewart & Stevenson, founded in Houston in 1902, is a manufacturer and distributor of products and services for the oil and gas, marine, construction, power generation, transportation, mining and agricultural industries. The company is a subsidiary of the Parman Capital Group.

“The acquisition of Stewart & Stevenson significantly expands the geographic footprint and capabilities of our distribution and services business,” said David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This transaction creates one of the largest distribution networks in the country with the engineering and technological capacity to successfully address the complex requirements of a large customer base in a competitive national and global environment.”

Oiltanking Acquires Terminal, Additional Land in Texas City

Oiltanking North America, LLC announced the acquisition of the Oiltanking Galveston County (OTGAL) terminal in April. OTGAL currently handles specialty chemicals and petrochemicals, and the terminal is situated on over 200 acres allowing ample room for expansion opportunities. OTGAL is located to the northwest of Oiltanking’s existing Texas City marine terminal and has extensive pipeline connections to it. The newly acquired OTGAL terminal has 78 tanks, five truck racks with loading and unloading capabilities and significant railcar spots for loading, unloading, and storage.

The terminal provides substantial room for rail, truck, pipeline and storage expansion along with the opportunity to become an industrial park. A key advantage is its close proximity and pipeline connection to the Oiltanking Texas City terminal which offers sophisticated infrastructure with approximately 550,000 cbm (3.5 million barrels) of liquid petroleum products, renewables, chemicals and gas storage capacity. The Texas City terminal has rail and truck capability and has two docks for vessels with up 40 feet draft and eight barge docks.

The acquisition of the OTGAL terminal facility was done in parallel with the purchase of the 89 hectares of industrial land to enable the development of the Texas Independent Deepwater Expansion (TIDE) terminal facility. During the initial phase of the TIDE development, construction of a finger pier will begin with two deep-water docks up to 45 feet draft. The new terminal has ample ready-to-build land available to construct over 1.6 million cbm (10,000,000 barrels) of storage, pipeline interconnectivity and additional jetties as needed for crude oil, petroleum and gas products in the Houston market.

The Port of Texas City is home to a large refinery market and several chemical companies. It is the 15th largest port in the United States and the 4th largest in Texas, with water borne tonnage exceeding 50 million net tons.

  • Date July 26, 2017
  • Tags July 2017