Corpus Christi, Lone Star Agree To 50-Year Lease
On March 28, the Port of Corpus Christi Commission approved a 50-year lease agreement with Lone Star Ports LLC, a joint venture between the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group. Under the agreement, Lone Star Ports will develop about 200 acres on Harbor Island into a petroleum export terminal.
The lease agreement is expected to provide significant gradual growth for the port’s annual operating revenues, while also creating high-wage jobs and economic benefits for Port Aransas, Nueces County, and the surrounding areas.
When complete, the Lone Star Ports terminal on Harbor Island will be the deepest-draft safe harbor crude export facility in the United States, with access to the forthcoming 56-foot portion of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. It will be the first onshore terminal able to fully load Suezmax vessels and nearly fully loaded Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs).
“This long-term commitment is a testament to the significance of the Corpus Christi gateway for American energy exports, which are expected to triple in the next decade,” said Sean Strawbridge, CEO for the Port of Corpus Christi. “A 50-year lease agreement with the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group joint-venture company, Lone Star Ports, is not only complementary to our existing marine terminal infrastructure but also positions the Port of Corpus Christi to be the preferred outlet for U.S.-produced crude exports serving all major global demand centers for generations to come.”
Ferris Hussein, managing director of the Carlyle Group, echoed that optimism.
“The Carlyle Group is enthusiastic about our shared vision with the Port of Corpus Christi Commission to develop an environmentally safe, world-class facility that will position Corpus Christi as a vital economic engine in Texas and around the globe,” Hussein said. “The Harbor Island project would not be possible without the leadership shown by the port’s commission and staff in their ongoing commitment to communities throughout the Coastal Bend region. This partnership is a great vote of confidence in Carlyle and our abilities to deliver generation changing infrastructure projects, and we take that responsibility seriously.”
Work has been underway for the past year on Harbor Island to demolish and repurpose an old crude import terminal on Harbor Island. With the new lease executed, the port and Lone Star Ports will begin procuring equipment and materials and begin construction.
The announcement comes on the heals of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarding the first dredging contract for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project, which will deepen the channel from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island to 56 feet, with a planned depth of 54 feet throughout the rest of the harbor.