AAPA Seaports Advisory

Cargo Operations: Corpus Christi, Longview

Print Print this Article | Send to Colleague

NuStar Energy Sets Single Vessel Loading Record at Port of Corpus Christi

NuStar Energy set a single vessel cargo loading record for the Port of Corpus Christi earlier this month by pumping 930,000 barrels of crude oil onto the Suezmax tanker Cap Romuldo. Suezmaxers are the largest class of tankers that can transit the Suez Canal fully loaded.    

These large vessels, which range in deadweight capacity from 120,000 to 200,00 tons, have been calling the Port of Corpus Christi with growing frequency since the ending in December 2015 of the U.S. ban on crude oil exports.  In fact, the record cargo loaded on the Cap Romuald was more than three times the amount of crude shipped from Corpus Christi in all of 2010.

Corpus Christi is seeking to position itself as America’s leading energy port, loading increasing quantities of crude and natural gas sourced from the Corpus Christi Coastal Bend for export to markets worldwide.

"NuStar Energy’s historic crude oil load out of nearly one million barrels to a single vessel is example of the energy renaissance we are experiencing in the United States and particularly in South Texas," said Charles W. Zahn, Jr., chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Commission. "We are excited to witness the momentum first hand and share it with energy industry partners such as NuStar."

The Port of Corpus Christi continues to enhance infrastructure under its 10 year, $1 billion capital investment program. Along with new deep-draft liquid bulk docks, Port of Corpus Christi officials are about to commence the Corpus Christi Ship Channel deepening and widening project.  

This project will deepen the existing channel from 47 to 54 feet(MLLW), expand its width to 530 feet to allow for two-way large vessel traffic, and construct shelves parallel to the ship channel to facilitate the movement of the thousands of barges that visit Corpus Christi annually.

In addition to the Channel Improvement Project is the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge replacement project scheduled for completion in 2020. This new cable-stayed bridge will be the longest in the Western Hemisphere, and increase vessel air draft clearance to 205 feet.

Cap Romuldo loading crude oil at NuStar Terminal in Corpus Christi
Photo/Port Corpus Christi

Longview Handles Longest Wind Blades to Date

The Port of Longview last week received the longest turbine blades since it began handling wind cargo in 2003. The blades were offloaded by the port’s mobile harbor cranes, on-dock rail and ILWU Local 21 longshore workers.

Working in tandem, the port’s two mobile harbor cranes hoisted the 54-meter (177-foot) long blades off the vessel and placed them in railcars. ILWU-member longshore workers secured the blades to specialized swiveling bases to ensure they were locked into place but still able to rotate with each turn along the rail line to their destination in Illinois.

"Operations like these require a lot of attention to detail and strategizing to ensure that it is efficient and cost effective for both the Port and the customer," said Senior Terminal Superintendent Larry Landgraver. "Successfully completing these technical operations time and time again can be credited to strategic investments in infrastructure, as well as our partnership ILWU labor."

Offloading wind turbine blades into rail cars
Photo/Port of Longview

Back to AAPA Seaports Advisory

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn