Freight News, Sea

Port of Houston’s Barbours Cut Channel Complete

[ October 5, 2015   //   ]

The Houston Port Authority announces that the deepening and widening of the Barbours Cut Container Terminal is complete and the deeper channel is already attracting business.

The dredging, which took the channel from 40 to 45 feet deep to match the depth of the Houston Ship Channel, was completed Sept. 15.

Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria noted during the Sept. 29 Port Commission meeting that the Houston Pilots had given approval for 45-foot draft vessels to call on Barbours Cut.

“This depth will significantly improve efficiency of ships calling at Barbours Cut and opens the door for future classes of larger ships to call,” Chairman Longoria said.

One vessel that required the deeper draft, the MSC Oriane, has already called Barbours Cut.

Dredging of the channel in front of the Bayport Container Terminal is ongoing. That project is expected to be completed by the time the Panama Canal expansion is finished next year. A third set of locks is being added to the canal.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers produced an economic analysis report that determined that the minimum net benefits of the improved Bayport and Barbours Cut channels to the U.S. economy will be $2.9 million per month, or about $35 million a year.

Survey results from the Corps of Engineers show that the Barbours Cut construction meets federal requirements, so the Corps will recommend acceptance of maintenance. That means that responsibility for future channel dredging will be transferred back to the Corps.

The Port Authority is funding the projects at an estimated cost of $80 million, to ensure the channels are ready for larger vessels that already are calling at the Port Authority.

Port of Houston