Plan to upgrade ship channel at Port of Corpus Christi

Plan to upgrade ship channel at Port of Corpus Christi

Moves are under way to expand the ship channel at the port of Corpus Christi, Texas, widening and deepening it so it can accommodate the coming global wave of supersized vessels.

The plan was announced on Wednesday at a State of the Port meeting hosted by the Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Port, city and state officials are all for the moves which would keep Corpus Christi, on the southern Texas coast, competitive among the leading ports in the US.

The aim is to widen the channel to 530 feet and increase its depth from 45 feet to 52 feet. With those dimensions it would be able to accommodate almost any ship.

At present some ships have to lighter, meaning they unload some of their cargo to a barge or other smaller vessel before being able to come in to port.

The estimated cost of the improvements is $300 million, half of which already is available from the state. Port officials are hoping the federal government can match that amount so the project can go ahead.

Bulk carriers, tankers and container ships have all been getting larger as their owners and operators strive for economies of scale. In turn some ports, canals and other shipping-related infrastructure have had to beef up their ability to receive the new vessels.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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