PANAMA CITY, Panama, September 14, 2011 – The Panama Canal Authority joined the Port in Corpus Christi today at the Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center to celebrate the Port’s 85th anniversary and sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work with one other to promote trade opportunities.
With cotton as its first cargo, 85 years ago Port Corpus Christi opened its doors to the world of commerce. With petrochemical products as its primary cargo, Port Corpus Christi has grown to be the 5th largest U.S. port in tonnage.
“We are proud of Port Corpus Christi’s dedication to economic development throughout South Texas over the last 85 years. It is important that we remain committed to establishing partnerships with ports in the United States as we move forward with the expansion of the Panama Canal. Our agreement will strengthen this commitment and promote trade along the Gulf Coast of the U.S.,” said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.
The Port plans to diversify its cargo base, develop important infrastructure projects, such as the dredging of the extension of the La Quinta Channel and the expansion of the Port’s rail capabilities, which will enable the Port to better serve its customers. These projects, as well as several others, continue to attract new industry to the Port, helping to create new jobs for the region and to open new shipping trade routes opportunities through the Gulf of Mexico. By taking advantages of the opportunities the Panama Canal, Port Corpus Christi will become South Texas’ strategic shipping link to the world through the Gulf of Mexico.
“We are honored to have the Panama Canal Authority be part of the celebration of our 85th anniversary. It gives us the opportunity to celebrate our friendship as we work together for the future,” said Mike Carrell, Port Corpus Christi Commission Chairman, adding, “the enhancement of the Port’s relationship with the Panama Canal Authority plays a very important role in linking our Port with ports in Asia as we continue to develop strategic business partnerships with countries in the Eastern Hemisphere.”
Future private investment projects are expected to impact the growth of the Port in the near future, namely the construction of a steel pipe mill by Tianjin Pipe Corporation, the expansion of the Port’s Bulk Terminal to support long term leases with Ambre and Millennium for the handling of their coal exports operations to Asia, South America and Europe and the future sale of its Ingleside Facility to Canyon Supply & Logistics, Inc., an offshore drilling service company.
The Canal’s expansion is on schedule, following the recent commencement of the permanent concrete work for the new locks. The $5.25 billion project includes the construction of a new set of locks that will allow the transit of longer and wider ships.
About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please visit http://www.pancanal.com/. You can also follow us on Twitter:http://twitter.com/thepanamacanal.
About Port Corpus Christi
As the primary economic engine of the Coastal Bend, Port Corpus Christi is 5th largest port in the United States in total tonnage. The Port’s mission statement is to “serve as a regional economic development catalyst while protecting and enhancing its existing industrial base and simultaneously working to diversify its international maritime cargo business.” Strategically located on the western Gulf of Mexico, with a straight, 45′ deep channel, the Port provides quick access to the Gulf and the entire United States inland waterway system. The Port delivers outstanding access to overland transportation with on-site and direct connections to three Class-1 railroads and uncongested interstate and state highways. The Port is protected by a state-of-the-art security department and an award-winning Environmental Management System. With outstanding management and operations staff, Port Corpus Christi is clearly “More Than You Can Sea.”