Great Lakes to deepen Corpus Christi

The Port of Corpus Christi is the largest crude export port in the United States

The U S Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $92 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company to deepen and widen the Corpus Christi Ship Channel (CCSC).

Works at the Texas port will increase depth from - 47 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) level to - 54 feet MLLW from the jetties at the entrance to the ship channel to Harbour Island and will extend the CCSC into the Gulf of Mexico to - 56 feet MLLW.

Dredging to deepen the entrance channel is due to commence in the second quarter of this year, with completion expected in early 2020. The overall channel deepening effort will be comprised of multiple phases expected to be competitively bid and worked over the next five years. The total contract value of these projects is estimated at some $360 million.

The Port of Corpus Christi is the largest crude export port in the United States and processes approximately 100 million tonnes per year. The Port’s impact on the US economy exceeds $124 billion annually and the planned work on this channel over the next five years is expected to bring significant benefit to the local economies, the state of Texas and the entire nation. This deepening project is seen as a major step forward towards the US objective of becoming a net exporter of its energy production.

“The award of this first dredging contract is without a doubt the most important development we will see in 2019, said Charles W. Zahn, chairman for the Port of Corpus Christi Commission. “Building critical infrastructure for the energy sector is our primary mission and will allow larger vessels access to much needed export facilities, safely and responsibly.”

Great Lakes is the largest provider of dredging services in the United States. Its president dredging, David Simonelli commented: “The Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement project is an important win for the Company and begins the long awaited deepening cycle for the Port of Corpus Christi. Three additional contracts ar planned to create much needed deep water access to the Port. Great Lakes’ dredging operations will utilise hopper and cutter suction dredgers to excavate over 6.6 million cubic yards of dense sands and clays to a depth of 58 feet.”

By Larz Bourne

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