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Corpus Christi Ship Channel reopened for business

Staff Writer |
The Corpus Christi Ship Channel is open to restricted operations following a record six-day closure caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Harvey has left many Gulf Coast petroleum refining centers either completely shut down or with operations significantly scaled back.

An estimated 25 percent of the region’s refining capacity is operational, positioning Corpus Christi as the largest refining center on the Texas Coast that is fully operational.

The ship channel’s restricted opening, authorized by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, will allow the seven local refineries to startup operations in an effort to serve the already short transportation fuels markets in the region and the nation.

Harvey came ashore near Corpus Christi which resulting in primarily wind damage and loss of power to the Corpus Christi refining center rather than the flood damage currently impacting Houston, Beaumont, and Port Arthur refineries.

Nearly 100 percent of power to the Corpus Christi refiners has been restored, and refineries are ramping up operations in an effort to serve the needs of Texas first responders and consumers.

Petroleum pipelines to Corpus Christi must start moving product through the port onto deep draft vessels so the refining center can ramp up to full operations.

The channel is temporarily restricted to one‐way vessel movements, daylight-only transits, moving in convoy with two pilots per vessel and draft restrictions of 43 feet.

The port’s Harbor Masters Office is working with industry to prioritize the more than 20 vessels awaiting berth assignments.

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority said it is working toward achieving normal business operations by September 4.

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