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Carlyle and Berry Group to develop oil terminal at Corpus Christi port

The Port of Corpus Christi Commission has approved a 50-year-long- lease agreement with Lone Star Ports, LLC, a joint venture between the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group, to develop a  petroleum export terminal.

The $1bn terminal is to be developed on a 200 acres on Harbor Island, near Corpus Christi, Texas, and expected to begin operation by the end of 2020.

The Lone Star Ports’ Complex (Harbor Island Terminal) will have the deepest channel depth of any on-shore crude oil-export facility in the United States.

 The agreement between the Port of Corpus Christi Authority and Lone Star Ports will provide significant accretive value in the Port’s annual operating revenues and will be the first US onshore terminal capable of loading suezmaxes and nearly full VLCCs.

Read more: Changing trade patterns - US Gulf gearing up for VLCC exports

Last month, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded the first dredging contract for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project to the largest US dredging company, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company (GLDD), to deepen the channel to a depth of 56 ft from the Channel entrance to Harbor Island, and a planned depth of 54’ throughout the rest of the harbour. The dredging project should begin this month.

“This long-term commitment is testament to the significance of the Corpus Christi gateway for American energy exports, which are expected to triple in the next decade,” said Sean Strawbridge, ceo for the Port of Corpus Christi. 

“A 50-year lease agreement with the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group joint-venture company, Lone Star Ports, is not only complementary to our existing marine terminal infrastructure but also positions the Port of Corpus Christi to be the preferred outlet for US-produced crude exports serving all major global demand centers for generations to come.”

“The Carlyle Group is enthusiastic about our shared vision with the Port of Corpus Christi Commission to develop an environmentally safe, world-class facility that will position Corpus Christi as a vital economic engine in Texas and around the globe,” said Ferris Hussein, managing director of The Carlyle Group.

Civil works for this facility repurposing project, have been underway for the past year ahead of finalising a definitive lease agreement, including the demolition of existing dock structures from a previous decades old Exxon crude import terminal on Harbor Island. The execution of this new lease enables the parties to commence major equipment and materials procurements and other construction efforts.

“This project on Harbor Island is the next pivotal step in directing the growing crude oil production in the United States to global markets via our Port of Corpus Christi,” said Charles W. Zahn, Jr., Port of Corpus Christi Commission chairman.

Port Corpus Christi is the 4th largest port in the US in total tonnage and leader in US Crude Oil export ports and a major economic engine of Texas and the nation.