Port Bureau Updates-May

ExxonMobil to invest up to $100 million on lower-emissions R&D with U.S. National Labs

ExxonMobil announced it will invest up to $100 million over 10 years to research and develop advanced lower-emissions technologies with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory.

The agreement – among the largest between the department’s laboratories and the private sector – will support research and collaboration into ways to bring biofuels and carbon capture and storage to commercial scale across the transportation, power generation and industrial sectors.

“We’re focusing on advancing fundamental science to develop breakthrough solutions that can make a difference on a global basis in emissions reduction,” said Darren W. Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil. “We’re doing that with our in-house scientists and with corporate partners, through relationships with 80 universities and now with the intellectual and computing capacity of the renowned national labs.”

The partnership will work to develop technologies related to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas mitigation. The joint research will also focus on reducing emissions from fuels and petrochemicals production. The agreement will stimulate collaborative projects between ExxonMobil and the two laboratories and facilitate work with other national laboratories, such as the Idaho National Lab.

“Finding meaningful solutions to address climate change is going to take everyone – governments, companies and academia – working together,” said Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. “This agreement will help us advance fundamental science and demonstrate scale. This is critical because it will give us a better understanding of how to progress technologies so they can be applied globally.”

“The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is excited to work with ExxonMobil to develop scalable energy solutions for the future and facilitate research partnerships across the national lab system,” said Martin Keller, director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Our partnerships with industry, government, academia and other research organizations drive the collaboration and innovation that is integral to revolutionizing the global energy landscape.”

This collaboration is a recent addition to a series of partnerships ExxonMobil has established for innovative lower-emissions research programs, which includes over 80 universities, five energy centers and multiple private sector partners. The company has spent more than $9 billion since 2000 developing and deploying lower-emissions energy solutions.

“This opportunity targets research challenges and the development of technology central to our mission and our capabilities,” said Brian Anderson, director at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. “We’re bringing incredible research capability, enhanced by ExxonMobil’s industry expertise and ability to scale-up new technologies globally, which will ultimately benefit consumers in the near term, while also enhancing our nation’s prosperity and energy security.”

Odfjell Terminals appoints new CEO for U.S.

Odfjell Terminals U.S. announced John Blanchard will join Odfjell Terminals as CEO for all its U.S. activities this month.

Previously, John Blanchard served as president of Arc Logistics Partners GP LLC and managed the bulk liquid terminals of Arc. He led the company through significant growth and expansion and optimization of existing assets. Arc Logistics was a portfolio company of Lightfoot Capital Partners where Blanchard also served as senior vice president.

John Blanchard will take over the U.S. responsibilities from CEO of Odfjell Terminals, Frank Erkelens, upon completion of the sale of Lindsay Goldberg’s shares in Odfjell Terminals U.S.


Brownsville Navigation District and NextDecade announce partnership to fund channel deepening

The Brownsville Navigation District (BND) and NextDecade Corporation announced a landmark agreement set to transform the business landscape of the Rio Grande Valley.

The Brazos Island Harbor Channel Improvement Project (BIH) Funding Agreement commits NextDecade to privately fund key improvements to the Brownsville Ship Channel. The company will pay 100 percent of the deepening of the ship channel from the Gulf of Mexico to the western boundary of the proposed Rio Grande LNG project site at the Port of Brownsville. NextDecade will also fund the widening of the bend close to the entrance of the Brownsville ship channel to improve navigational safety.

“A wider, deeper channel not only benefits existing and future port customers, it also benefits our LNG partners,” said John Reed, BND chairman. “When complete, the deeper channel will make us among the deepest ports on the Gulf of Mexico, enhancing our competitiveness by closely matching the design features of the expanded Panama Canal.”

Planning to deepen the ship channel from 42 feet began in 2007 with a project feasibility study. In 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completed the feasibility study recommending deepening the channel to 52 feet. Estimates for the deepening project may be up to $350 million-with about 50 percent of the actual total paid for by NextDecade. In December 2016, the U.S. Congress authorized the channel deepening project, making the BIH eligible to receive federal funding.

With the new partnership, the BND expects to pay for the project with a combination of public-private partnership dollars, port funds and federal funds. The BIH project is expected start in the first half of 2020, with completion in 2023.

NextDecade plans to construct and operate the Rio Grande LNG project on a 984-acre site on the Port of Brownsville ship channel. The proposed LNG project could result in significant investment in Cameron County, creating nearly 6,000 direct jobs during construction. Operating at full scale, Rio Grande LNG is expected to contribute more than $500 million annually to U.S. GDP and create approximately 5,000 permanent jobs, the majority in Cameron County.

Anadarko board determines revised proposal from Occidental constitutes a “superior proposal”

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation announced that its board of directors has unanimously determined that the revised acquisition proposal it received from Occidental Petroleum Corporation on May 5, 2019; constitutes a “Superior Proposal”. Anadarko has notified Chevron that it intends to terminate the Chevron Merger Agreement.

Under the terms of the revised Occidental Proposal, Occidental would acquire Anadarko for consideration consisting of $59.00 in cash and 0.2934 of a share of Occidental common stock per share of Anadarko common stock. Occidental has obtained committed financing for the entire cash portion of the aggregate transaction consideration, and completion of the transaction will not require or be conditioned upon the receipt of any vote or other approval by Occidental’s stockholders.

If Anadarko terminates the Chevron Merger Agreement in order to enter into a definitive agreement with respect to the Revised Occidental Proposal, Anadarko will pay Chevron a $1 billion termination fee as required by the Chevron Merger Agreement.

MPLX LP announces agreement to acquire Andeavor Logistics LP

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC), MPLX LP (MPLX), and Andeavor Logistics LP (ANDX) announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby MPLX will acquire ANDX. The two midstream companies represent an equity value of approximately $9 billion and an enterprise value of $14 billion for the acquired entity. Subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019.

“This transaction simplifies our MLPs into a single listed entity and creates a leading, large-scale, diversified midstream company anchored by fee-based cash flows,” said Gary R. Heminger, chairman and chief executive officer. “The combined entity will have an expanded geographic footprint which we believe enhances our long-term growth opportunities and the sustainable cash flow profile of the business. We are confident about the midstream growth and value-creation opportunities that exist across this combined platform in the best basins in the U.S.”

This combination enhances commercial opportunities building on MPLX’s strong footprint in the Marcellus and deepening the presence in the Permian.

Enchantment of the Seas sets sail on the first cruise from Galveston

Royal Caribbean International’s Enchantment of the Seas began its home port seasonal sailing from the Port of Galveston with a seven day Western Caribbean cruise in May.

“We are excited to welcome yet another Royal Caribbean ship, Enchantment of the Seas, to its new seasonal homeport in Galveston. Short cruising is in demand, the market is growing so it’s great that RCCL is expanding their shorter cruise program from Galveston by bringing newer and larger ships to accommodate the growth in the short cruise market,” said Rodger Rees, CEO, and port director. “Giving cruise passengers various sailing options is one of the reasons that this port has climbed the ranks to become the 4th busiest cruise port in the nation.”

Enchantment of the Seas anticipates an average of 2,400 passengers per cruise. The cruises will include ports of call in Cozumel or Progresso, Puerto Costa Maya and the Yucatan, depending on the cruise.


Gulf Winds moves to a new corporate office location

Gulf Winds InternationalGulf Winds announced a new corporate office location at 4400 Highway 225, Ste. 230 Deer Park, TX 87109. The location is adjacent to the Greater Houston Port Bureau’s new office space and in the same business park as the Houston Pilots and ILA
Local 28, with 10-15 minute drive time access to their eight port warehouse locations and trucking operations.

The entire operations and customer service teams have moved to the port buildings, providing many opportunities for increased efficiency and employee engagement company wide. Gulf Winds continues to aligns its warehouse footprint towards Port Houston’s two major container terminals, to increase efficiency and drive value for their internal and external customers.

This corporate move is the next step in the process of focusing on Gulf Winds core business of drayage, transloading and inland domestic delivery of containerized freight. The new office location and warehouse footprint provides a solid platform for innovation and growth in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Mobile and beyond.

  • Date June 3, 2019
  • Tags 2019 May