Ports & Terminals

Port Of Corpus Christi Reports Record Tonnage In 2022

The Port of Corpus Christi saw a 21 percent year-over-year surge in refined products handled in 2022 and a 15 percent increase year-over-year in total crude oil, with both stats helping drive the port to record tonnage last year.

The 187.9 million tons of cargo that passed through the port in 2022 marked a 12 percent increase over 2021 volumes.

Crude export volumes at the port averaged 2 million barrels per day last year, up from 1.76 million barrels per day in 2021. Petrochemical exports reached 3 million tons in 2022, a 23 percent increase compared to 2021. LNG exports were up 3.5 percent last year compared to 2021, and they’ve doubled since 2020. Just last year, Cheniere announced a Phase 3 expansion at its Corpus Christi liquefaction facility, which will boost its annual export capacity from 16 million tons to 28 million tons.

What’s more, the port set a quarter record for tonnage in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the second half of 2022 also set a new half-year record.

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“The Port of Corpus Christi continued to see strength in the energy and chemicals sectors in 2022, and we are grateful for our customers’ confidence in the gateway to move their goods to the markets that need them the most,” said Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the port. “The continuing trust of our industrial partners and overseas allies in our ability to deliver essential goods and services underscores the critical role the Port of Corpus Christi serves in the global trades. We do expect a leveling off of volume growth in 2023 as more indications of a global recession persist. However, the Port of Corpus Christi remains committed to its capital investment program in 2023 and beyond, and we expect new investments and new energy initiatives to continue long after recessionary pressures ease.”

The strategic location of the Port of Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend region has attracted more than $65 billion in private industrial investments over the past six years, with 98,000 jobs in the region now tied to port activities. Ongoing improvements include the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project, which will deepen portions of the ship channel to 54 feet and widen it to 530 feet. Port officials expect that project to be completed in 2024, following the project-closeout funding Congress approved in December 2022.

Besides its traditional oil and gas business lines, the port is also exploring the possibility of adding scalable hydrogen and renewable energy production to its market, along with carbon capture initiatives.

“As the energy port of the Americas, the Port of Corpus Christi embraces new technologies but also remains committed to the enduring commodities that continue to power the energy landscape,” Port Commission Chairman Charles Zahn said. “We look forward to strengthening our longtime partnerships and welcoming new projects to the fold in this next chapter of our story.”