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Crude oil shipments boost Port of Corpus Christi to 2020 tonnage record

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The Port of Corpus Christi ended 2020 with record tonnage, mainly due to a 65% increase in crude oil shipments from the previous year.

The port set a new annual tonnage record of 159.7m tonnes, a 31% increase over 2019, as well as a new monthly record of 15.9m tonnes for December, 15% higher than December 2019. This performance helped push fourth quarter results to a new quarterly record of 42.2m tonnes, surpassing the prior record from Q1-2020.

Several new marine terminals were brought online in 2020, including EPIC Midstream, Buckeye’s South Texas Gateway, Plains All-American and Enterprise Products’ Eagle Ford Terminal joint venture, Pin Oak Corpus Christi, and South Texas Cement.

In addition to increased crude oil shipments totalling 96.4m tonnes, the Port saw a 26% increase in LNG shipments at 8.7m tonnes, and agricultural exports increasing 70% in 2020 at nearly 4.3m tonnes. Corpus Christi consolidated its position as the Nation’s leading energy export gateway with a record 1.9m barrels per day of crude oil exports in December 2020.

“Despite the extraordinary challenges we navigated in 2020, the Port of Corpus Christi and its customers have yet again demonstrated the resiliency of this strategic gateway for American goods to reach the global demand centres. This record performance is a clear indication of the importance of our critical infrastructure for Texas and the Nation,” said Sean Strawbridge, ceo for the Port of Corpus Christi.

“American energy exports remain strong, and our ESG programs continue to lead the sector as we enter an era of economic recovery.”

The Port of Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend has seen nearly $55bn in private industrial investments over the past 5 years, an unprecedented level of growth resulting in a vibrant regional economy.

Additional investments in infrastructure include the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project, which once completed in late 2023 will be the deepest and widest ship channel in the entire US Gulf. Additional investments include expanded rail capacity to serve all North American markets with three Class 1 railroads and over 4,000 acres available in public-private partnership development options for companies seeking a more favorable business climate.

“The Port of Corpus Christi plays a vital role to not only the Coastal Bend economy, but that of the State of Texas and the Nation,” said Charles W. Zahn, Port of Corpus Christi Commission chairman.

“The success that the Port has been able to realise in 2020, despite its challenges, is a direct result of everyone working toward a common goal – to ensure essential goods continue to flow during this difficult time and that economic recovery continues on an upward trend.”

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