$92MM Corpus Christi Dredging Contract Awarded
A project to make the Corpus Christi Ship Channel (CCSC) more accessible to larger oil tankers and other vessels has taken a major step forward.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has awarded a $92 million construction contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., LLC to deepen and widen the CCSC, the Port of Corpus Christi reported late Thursday.
“The award of this first dredging contract is without a doubt the most important development we will see in 2019,” Charles W. Zahn, chairman for the Port of Corpus Christi Commission, said in a written statement emailed to Rigzone. “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.”
A major part of the $360 million Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP), the contract calls for increasing the CCSC’s depth from -47 to -54 feet mean lower low water (MLLW) from the jetties at its entrance to Harbor Island and extending the ship channel into the Gulf of Mexico to -56 feet MLLW. As this 2016 presentation from a USACE official notes, MLLW is the average minimum tidal depth that maritime operators will likely encounter.
Thursday’s contract announcement is the latest USACE-related development for CIP. In November 2018, the port authority noted that USACE had budgeted an extra $59 million for the project in its Fiscal Year 2019 Work Plan. As Rigzone reported at the time, the U.S. government is providing a total of $230 million to complete CIP and the port authority will shoulder the remaining $130 million.
“We comment the Army Corps of Engineers for progressing the highly anticipated Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project, and the selection of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock to perform on this first contract is an extraordinary step forward in positioning the United States as the largest exporter of energy in the world,” Sean Strawbridge, the Port of Corpus Christi’s CEO, stated.
Col. Lars Zetterstrom, USACE Galveston District commander, pointed out that reaching the dredging contract award phase required “hard work and patience” from both USACE and the port authority. “The project delivery team worked tirelessly to achieve this milestone, which opens the gate to improving one of the nation’s most important navigation channels,” he said.
“We are confident that this will drive the much-anticipated future investment and development in the Port, since as we like to say, ‘It all starts with dredging!,’” concluded Great Lakes Dredge & Dock CEO Lasse Petterson.
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