The Port of Houston Authority Commission held a special meeting on Monday.
Executive Director and CEO Colonel Leonard Waterworth updated the board on the port’s long-range strategic plan. Listen (22:27)
“In 2013 the Port of Houston is the busiest port in the United States and I believe this trend will continue because of the investments that have been made in the petrochemical industry,” Waterworth said. “That’s going to drive manufacturing, that’s going to drive job creation and it’s going to drive our container demand.”
He said the port’s strategic planning needs to include increasing “the operational velocity of our facilities in the channel,” developing sustainable operations and re-capitalization of the existing capacity of the port.
Commissioner Dean Corgey suggested “Heavy Lift” as a growth area the port should consider.
“I think there is a growing market for that,” Corgey said. He also suggested that the port should consider a recent suggestion that it encourage ship building. “Everybody is building ships right now. There are huge investments going on right now with the Jones Act.”
“Why don’t we have a ship yard here?” Longoria asked.
“I think the heaviest construction capabilities we have are right across the (channel) on Galveston Island, on Pelican,” Waterworth said. “A lot of that is dedicated to heavy drilling and petrochemical business right there."
Corgey said the port should also have a LNG terminal.
“This is going to be a huge growth area,” Corgey said, suggesting Pelican Island as a site. “Freeport has one, Port Arthur has one. We are going to start shipping LNG out of Texas like nobody’s business.”
Wateworth said that he has been discussing development of Pelican Island with recently appointed Port of Galveston Trustee Gerald Sullivan, who is a past chair of the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves.
“He wants to come up and talk about those kind of things on the potential use of Pelican Island,” Waterworth said.
Corgey also said the port should have a greater military presence.
Erik Eriksson, general counsel of the Port of Houston Authority, reviewed the implementation of recommendations by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Listen (8:12)
The board voted unanimously to approve appointments by Chair Janiece Longoria to committees and task forces.