Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company (GLDD) has won a $139m construction contract from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the completion of the third phase of the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP).

This four-phase infrastructure project is intended to extend the Corpus Christi Ship Channel depth from -47ft mean lower low water (MLLW) to -54ft MLLW.

As part of the project, the channel will also be widened to 530ft, with an additional 400ft of barge shelves.

Under the third phase, the channel will be stretched towards the west of the La Quinta Junction through the Chemical Turning Basin in the Port’s Inner Harbour.

In March last year, GLDD finished the CIP’s first phase, which included deepening and widening the waterway from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbour Island.

In April 2020, Callan Marine secured the contract for the execution of the second phase, which is currently under construction.

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This stage involves deepening and widening the channel from Harbour Island to 4.34km along the La Quinta Junction, covering Ingleside.

At present, around three large crude export marine terminal operators are functioning in Ingleside, namely Buckeye Partners, Moda Midstream and Flint Hills Resources.

USACE Galveston District Commander Col Tim Vail said: “The economic benefits associated with this project are vital to the region. The Port of Corpus Christi is already responsible for more than 98,000 regional jobs, and the completion of this channel improvement project will lead to additional jobs, allowing for increased funding into community reinvestment initiatives.

“The enhanced channel will also improve safety and efficiency by allowing two-way traffic, and a safer passthrough for deep-draft vessels.”

CIP is a collaborative project between the Port of Corpus Christi, USACE and the federal government.

As of now, the port has offered $161.5m for its share of the total project cost, with the federal government providing $296.3m in funding.

CIP’s third phase is expected to complete in June 2023.

In May, Stabilis Solutions signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Corpus Christi Authority to promote the use of liquefied natural gas as a marine fuel at the port.