Port of Victoria official predicts increased economic activity

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Feb. 13, 2012 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 12, 2012 at 8:13 p.m.

Since the Eagle Ford Shale activity began, Port of Victoria has seen a boom in traffic.

Robert Loeb, Victoria County Navigation District chairman, gave a presentation during Monday's commissioners court meeting highlighting the port's progress.

Judge Don Pozzi commended the port and its commissioners for illustrating "just what kind of impact the port is having on this community."

Loeb said the port's business revolves around the shale: frack sand and oil coming in and out by truck and barge.

In the last half of 2011, 58,000 tons of frack sand came into the port by barge and rail, and was shipped out by truck. The port also shipped out about 3.8 million barrels of oil - 3.3 million by barge and about 500,000 by rail, Loeb said.

"These companies are still ramping up," Loeb said. "These numbers will get bigger. They could double."

Loeb also discussed the port's future planning.

He wants to see a container dock on the port's 1,800 acre site near Invista that would work with a fleeting operation, similar to a large parking lot, for barges. He said it would give companies a competitive edge.

"The purpose would be to hopefully have weekly container-on-barge service into that dock," Loeb said. "Basically, anybody who can get their product by container could get it more economically in Victoria."

There is no set timeframe on a container dock project.

"Ultimately, what we want is a container dock," Loeb said, closing his presentation. "I think that's what's coming."



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