Port Freeport completes container terminal expansion

(FREEPORT, Texas) – Port Freeport and honored guests joined for a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 30 marking the completion of the Berth 8 Construction Project.

In November 2019, the Port Freeport Commissioners approved a construction contract with McCarthy Building Cos. for the expansion of Velasco Container Terminal. The expansion project includes the construction of a multipurpose Berth 8, a 927-foot linear extension to the existing 800-foot Berth 7, plus an 85-foot roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) platform. On May 12, McCarthy submitted its notice of substantial completion, marking the end of the three-year, $146 million project.

Port Freeport photo

“Port Freeport is excited to commemorate the completion of the Velasco Container Terminal expansion project and announce the new berth is ready to receive vessels,” said Phyllis Saathoff, executive director/CEO. “The deepening of the Freeport Harbor Channel and the addition of this berth puts the port in position to receive the larger deeper-draft vessels in service today and propel the growth of commerce for existing and future customers.”

Berth 8 has a depth of 51 feet and will accommodate additional post-Panamax gantry cranes capable of serving the larger container vessels transiting the expanded Panama Canal. The 85-foot ro-ro platform at the end of Berth 8 will allow opportunities for further growth in the ro-ro segment and serve finished vehicles, high and heavy and break-bulk operations.

“I’ve served as port commissioner for two terms, and during my tenure, the Port Commission has made decisions to dutifully grow the port through investments in infrastructure. The port remains committed to advancing key strategic initiatives that will keep pace with the growth at Port Freeport and continue bringing more jobs and economic prosperity to our
community,” said Port Freeport Chairman John Hoss.

Port Freeport is a leading port in the export of crude oil and natural gas liquids and ranked sixth in the United States in chemicals, 11th in foreign waterborne export tonnage, and 26th in containers. A 2022 economic impact study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute revealed that, nationally, the Freeport Harbor Channel generates 266,300 jobs and has a total economic output of $157.3 billion.

Port Freeport serves Alliera, Atlantic Container Lines, AMPORTS, BASF, Chiquita Fresh N.A., Dole Fresh Fruit, Dow Chemical Co., Enterprise Products Partners, ExxonMobil, Freeport LNG, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Glovis, Grimaldi Lines, Hoegh Autoliners, Kirby Marine, Liberty Global Logistics, Mammoet, MEGlobal, NYK Ro-ro, Oceanus Line, Phillips 66, Riviana Foods, Sallaum Lines, Tenaris, U.S. Department of Energy, Volkswagen Group of America, and Vulcan Materials Co.

– Port Freeport

By Rich Miller