Port of Corpus Christi cuts ties with Lone Star LLC on Harbour Island project

Port of Corpus Christi cuts ties with Lone Star LLC on Harbour Island project

Lone Star Ports LLC, which planned to construct a crude oil export terminal on Harbour Island, has lost its lease. Port of Corpus Christi commissioners have voted to end the lease with Lone Star.

CEO Sean Strawbridge said the port had “delivered the notice of termination to Lone Star Ports immediately.”

Lease plans had involved development of a $1 billion loading facility, capable of accommodating very large crude carriers on Port Aransas’ Harbour Island.

“The port thanks Lone Star Ports for the investments they bring to our community and remains dedicated to the development of a VLCC loading facility on Harbour Island,” a port authority spokeswoman said. “The port is committed to its pursuit of infrastructure projects as we continue to serve the needs of all port customers and stakeholders, all of whom have made the Port of Corpus Christi the leading energy export gateway in the nation.”

A section of the lease agreement was cited as reason for the termination, but no further discussion followed the commission’s decision. The item had been included among several others slated for what became an executive session preceding the vote.

In 2019, the port had authorised a 50-year lease with joint venture Lone Star Ports LLC and The Carlyle Group for a marine storage terminal. At the time, it had been planned that the port would handle the design and construction of two docks, with the joint venture managing the build of storage infrastructure and pipelines.

The Carlyle Group later withdrew, but Lone Star Ports pledged to continue work on the project.

It had been estimated the development could bring in an additional $2 billion to $4 billion in port authority revenue over the span of the lease agreement. Expanding capacity is necessary to support new growth that would benefit Coastal Bend-area employment and tax base, port officials said.

But the proposed export terminal continued to be met with significant opposition by environmentalists and some of Port Aransas’ residents, who raised questions about the development’s potential impacts on the ecosystem, recreation and nature tourism, among other concerns.

For more information visit portofcc.com

22nd March 2021