Port Bureau Updates-August

Kinder Morgan Announces Additional Projects to Enhance Capabilities at Houston Ship Channel Facilities

Kinder Morgan, Inc. (“KMI”) announced on August 14 a series of projects, totaling over $170 million of capital investment, that will increase efficiency, add product liquidity, and enhance blending capabilities at its Pasadena and Galena Park terminals, part of its best-in-class refined products storage hub on the Houston Ship Channel.

In response to growing customer demand, KMI’s liquids terminal platform now boasts 10 ship docks, 38 barge spots, 20 inbound pipelines providing connectivity to 10 regional refineries and chemical plants, 15 outbound pipelines, 14 cross-channel lines, and approximately 43 million barrels of storage on the Houston Ship Channel, North America’s leading port for energy exports.

KMI will invest approximately $125 million on enhancements to its Pasadena Terminal and Jefferson Street Truck Rack, including:

• Increased flow rates on inbound pipeline connections and outbound dock lines, significantly reducing vessel load times and expanding effective dock capacity.
• Tank modifications that will provide for butane blending and vapor combustion capabilities on 10 storage tanks, with the option to extend those capabilities to an additional 25 tanks or more.
• Expansion of the current methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) storage and blending platform, including a dedicated cross-channel MTBE line serving vessels being loaded at Pasadena’s North Docks.
• A new, dedicated natural gasoline (C5) inbound connection, enhancing customers’ blendstock supply optionality and liquidity.

The improvements, which are expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2020, are supported by a long-term agreement with a major refiner for approximately 2.0 million barrels of refined petroleum products storage capacity at the terminal.

In addition to the enhancements at the Pasadena Terminal, KMI will also invest more than $45 million to develop and construct a butane-on-demand blending system for 25 tanks at its Galena Park Terminal. The project will include construction of a 30,000-barrel butane sphere, a new inbound C4 pipeline connection, as well as tank and piping modifications to extend butane blending capabilities to 25 tanks, two ship docks, and six cross-channel pipelines. The project is supported by a long-term agreement with an investment grade midstream company and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“These projects speak to Kinder Morgan’s continued commitment to excellence and to improving our already best-in-class facilities along the Houston Ship Channel,” said John Schlosser, president of Terminals for KMI. “The announced improvements only serve to enhance our position as the market-leading refined petroleum products storage hub on the U.S. Gulf Coast. This offers our customers unmatched supply optionality and liquidity and modal efficiencies as they aim to maximize storage and blending economics and access domestic and global energy markets in the most co

MOL and COSCO SHIPPING Energy Transportation Sign Memorandum of Understanding for LNG, Ethane Projects

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (“MOL”) and COSCO SHIPPING Energy Transportation Co., Ltd. (“CSET”), a subsidiary of China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) on August 6, 2019. The MOU further develops their joint cooperation for future LNG carrier projects and ethane carrier projects.

For more than 10 years, MOL and CSET have jointly participated in various ongoing projects, including the ExxonMobil DES, Australia Pacific LNG, and Yamal LNG projects.

At the same time, MOL and CSET aim to develop and deepen the partnership through joint participation for new opportunities in upcoming LNG and ethane carrier projects. MOL and CSET, as mutual strategic partners, continue to lead in the development of LNG and ethane transportation industries.

ExxonMobil Begins Production on Beaumont High-Performance Polyethylene Line

ExxonMobil started production on a new high-performance polyethylene line at its polyethylene plant in Beaumont, Texas, at the end of July. The expansion increases plant production capacity by 65 percent or 650,000 tons per year, bringing site capacity to nearly 1.7 million tons per year.

This expansion builds upon supply advantages created by ExxonMobil’s two new performance polyethylene lines which began production in 2017 at the company’s manufacturing site in Mont Belvieu, Texas. Together, these multi-billion dollar investments will help meet strong global demand growth for polyethylene, particularly high-performance products used for liquid and food packaging, construction liners and agricultural films.

“The availability of new supplies of domestically produced natural gas liquids provides us with a significant advantage when expanding polyethylene production to meet worldwide demand growth,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “Our unique polyethylene products offer enhanced performance benefits to our customers, including strength and ease of processing, compared with commodity products.”

The project created 2,000 jobs during peak construction and currently supports approximately 40 permanent jobs. Operations associated with the Beaumont expansion are expected to increase regional economic activity by $20 billion in the first 13 years, according to research completed in 2015 by Impact Data Source.

Beaumont’s polyethylene plant expansion is part of ExxonMobil’s 2017 Growing the Gulf initiative, which included plans to build and expand manufacturing facilities along the U.S. Gulf Coast, creating more than 45,000 high-paying jobs across the region.

Broadway Double Track Project Complete in East End

Port Houston recently announced that the Broadway Double Track Project near Manchester Street at the Port of Houston has been completed. The project broke ground in October 2018 and has been administered by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

The estimated $23 million project will generate $63 million in benefits and completes double tracking on the PTRA railroad on the south side of the ship channel. The project will remove train delays of two to four hours a day and alleviate one of the largest rail bottleneck points on the PTRA railroad.

The rail system includes a rail bridge over Broadway Street that provides rail switching services to shippers along the Houston Ship Channel. The construction improvements were made without impact to train operations. In coordination with Harris County, TxDOT and Port Houston, PTRA also is making improvements to rail crossings on Peninsula Road and Jacintoport Boulevard as part of the Peninsula Road Improvement Project.

Gulf Winds Named a Smartway High Performer

Gulf Winds International, Inc., has been named a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay® High Performer. Each year performance data is submitted and reviewed to qualify as a SmartWay partner. Among the hundreds of companies partnering with EPA through SmartWay, there are those that are a step ahead in meeting the challenges of sustainable goods movement.

Based on SmartWay’s annual emissions reports, High Performers are recognized for achieving significant shipping and freight efficiencies that merit special attention.

“We are thankful to celebrate a 12-year partnership with Smartway. For 12 years, our partnership has worked to improve air quality in our local community, while also supporting our overall company’s mission, vision, and values,” said Todd Stewart, president of Gulf Winds.

“Gulf Winds International knows that partnering with SmartWay is good for business, people and the environment,” says Cheryl Bynum, U.S. EPA’s SmartWay Director.

Port Freeport Receives AAPA Communications Award of Excellence

Port Freeport was recently honored with an Award of Excellence in the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) 2019 Communications Awards Program for their entry in the Overall Campaign category. The Port’s entry highlighted the 2018 Port Freeport Bond Package Informational Campaign.

The Communications Program awards member ports for their strategic communications through peer-reviewed analyses of programs and projects and by showcasing best practices and lessons learned.

“It’s an honor for Port Freeport to be recognized by its peers in communication on a national platform. The Public Affairs team works with Port Commission and staff to keep the Port’s key audiences informed of progress toward our strategic initiatives,” said Phyllis Saathoff, Port Freeport executive director/CEO. “The success of the Bond Package Informational Campaign plays a significant role in the advancement of the initiative to deepen and widen the Freeport Harbor Channel.”

Port Freeport’s entry highlighted the comprehensive campaign used to fully inform the community of the 2018 bond package and the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project. The campaign included multiple press releases, a micro-website, printed informational materials, community presentations, and media coverage.

“On behalf of the Port Commissioners, I would like to congratulate the Public Affairs team for winning this award. The ongoing communications efforts and shared vision between the Port, its partners and the community resulted in the passage of the bond issue. The Port can move forward with the Channel Project and create a legacy of continued economic opportunity and prosperity for the region to support future generations,” said Port Freeport Chairman Shane Pirtle.

Department of Labor Awards San Jacinto College $12 Million Grant

The Department of Labor awarded San Jacinto College a $12 million federal grant to partner with other public and private sector entities to train 5,000+ workers in information technology (IT) fields.

Second only to California, Texas had more than 960,000 information technology employees in 2017. To ensure that the Texas workforce develops and maintains the skills needed for these jobs, four Texas community colleges (Alamo Community College, Austin Community College, Dallas Community College District) and industry leaders have partnered on the Texas is IT (TXIT) apprenticeship project.

Dr. Sarah Janes
Associate Vice Chancellor
San Jacinto College

“The goals of this grant program include accelerating the expansion of apprenticeships to new industry sectors, promoting the large-scale expansion of apprenticeships across the nation, and increasing the apprenticeship opportunities for all Americans,” said Dr. Sarah Janes, associate vice chancellor for continuing and professional development, San Jacinto College, and grant lead. “We are excited to be partnering with Alamo Colleges, Austin Community College, and the Dallas Community College District on this project.”

Together with national industry partners IBM Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation’s IT-Related Occupations, Rackspace, Cerner Corporation, and Cisco Systems, the four Texas community colleges intend to train 5,000 apprentices and pre-apprentices over 48 months. The Texas Workforce Commission and the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards will also assist with this grant, with additional support from the American Association of Community Colleges and the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

San Jacinto College has served East Harris County in Texas, since 1961. The College was the recipient of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institutions, a 2017 Aspen Prize Rising Star Award recipient, and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The College serves 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually and offers eight areas of study that allow students to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs.

  • Date September 5, 2019
  • Tags 2019 August