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Corpus Christi port secures additional funding for channel improvements

Posted at 3:25 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 20:00:36-05

As the leader in the United States of crude oil exports, the port of Corpus Christi is only growing bigger.

On Monday morning, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it is chipping in $59 million to help cover the cost of a major improvement project for the Port of Corpus Christi. It’s big news for the port and local industries.

The money will go toward widening and deepening the Corpus Christi ship channel. It’s part of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP), costing $360 million.

Iain Vasey, the president and CEO for the Corpus Christi Regional Development Corporation, says the $59 million will help improve economic activity in the city. Vasey says Corpus Christi already sees more than $100 million of economic activity daily at the port, but the additional funding is a win for the city.

“What it means is that we [Corpus Christi] will be in a better position to compete for major industrial projects and major shipping projects,” Vasey said.

Having a deeper channel means companies and industries will be able to import and export larger vessels, Vasey said, adding it will also be more cost effective.

As for the $360 million CIP project, the federal government is responsible for paying $230 million, while Corpus Christi will contribute the remaining $130 million. However, Vasey believes it’s a small price for the large economic impact the project will make.

“We have to continue to build our infrastructure,” Vasey said. “And this has to be the biggest infrastructure project in our region.”

The federal government has now appropriated a total of $95 million to the Channel Improvement Project.