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Port of Corpus Christi closes 2019 with record tonnage

The Port of Corpus Christi ended 2019 with record tonnage for December with 13.8m cargo tonnes and 122.2m cargo tonnes for the year as a whole— a 16m-tonne improvement over 2018 tonnage.

The significant growth is attributed to increases in energy exports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“We moved more than 120m tonnes in 2019. The figure alone is impressive, but what is more remarkable is the exponential growth we are seeing year over year and sometimes even month over month,” said Charles W. Zahn, Jr., Port of Corpus Christi Commission chairman.

Growth in crude exports is primarily the result of two new crude pipelines from the largest energy producing fields in the United States, the Permian Basin. Year over year gains in crude production led to an impressive 26.8% jump in crude exports from the Port of Corpus Christi, the Port of Corpus Christi said in a statement.

LNG exports increased 6.6 m tonnes overall in 2019 as a result of Cheniere Energy subsidiary Corpus Christi Liquefaction increasing production with the commissioning of its first train in November 2018 and its second train in late 2019.

“These record-setting figures are not only indicative of a resilient energy export market, but are also reflective of the large infrastructure investments made by both private industry and the Port Authority as we position the Port of Corpus Christi as the Energy Port of the Americas™,” said Port of Corpus Christi ceo Sean Strawbridge.

Additional milestones in 2019 included the commencement of the long-awaited Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project, a near fully funded federal project to deepen the main channel to 54 feet mean lower low water, and widen the Channel to 530 feet plus 200 feet of barge shelves.

The port also received the largest Liebherr ship-to-shore portal crane in North America in December 2019, saw the substantial completion of a new cement import facility designed for nearly 1 million tonnes per annum, and signed the largest marine terminal lease agreement in its 94-year history for a new crude export terminal designed to handle the Very Large Crude Carriers on Harbor Island in Port Aransas.

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