After returning from closed session at a Wednesday meeting, the Calhoun Port Authority’s board of directors approved an agreement with Max Midstream Texas that gives the oil exportation company exclusive rights to sell bunker fuels at the port.
Max Midstream’s bunkering services will give port users a more convenient option and serve as an incentive that can attract business to the expanding port, Port Director Charles Hausmann previously told the Advocate.
The port does not have anyone providing bunkering services on site, so port users have to bring in fuel from larger ports, such as Corpus Christi, or Houston, to fill up vessels.
Max Midstream or an affiliate plans to construct a crude oil processing facility at or near the port, and will pay the port a convenience fee of 3 cents per every gallon of bunker fuel it sells at the port, according to the 30-year license agreement.
The convenience fee will automatically increase annually by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Finished Goods, according to the agreement.
Upon return from closed session, Board Member Luis De La Garza also made a motion to authorize Hausmann to negotiate with realtors on two pieces of property in Alamo Beach to see if the port can purchase them for no more than $5,000 per an acre.
The first tract of land is about 5 acres and located off Farm-to-Market Road 2760 that is owned by Terry Cox, according to Calhoun County Appraisal District records.
The second consists of about an acre of land at the intersection of South Quailrun Avenue and Wilson Avenue that is owned by Leslie Chorley, according to county records.
The board unanimously approved the authorization.
Earlier in the meeting, the board approved paying De La Garza and board member Shields A. “Tony” Holladay Sr., $250 each for visiting property on Tuesday as part of board service fees. Both serve on the real estate committee.
As part of his monthly report, Haussmann said the port continues to see a downturn in exports due to decrease in demand chemicals.
In February, the port had 45 vessels come through the port, including 10 deep draft vessels and 35 inland barges.
“You can see those numbers are down significantly from what we normally average and that is relatively due to the decrease in demand for chemicals at this point in time in the world market,” he said. “I know Formosa’s orders are down … the demand’s just not there right now and we’re hoping to see that uptick in a couple of months.”
In the meantime, the port is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on pre-construction engineering and design phase for the Matagorda Bay Ship Channel Improvement Project. The port hopes the process will be completed by December, Haussmann said.
The project will include dredging the port to deepen the waterway by 9 feet, widen the bay channel by 100 feet and the offshore channel by 300 feet.
Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be in Port Lavaca Thursday evening to speak about placement of dredging material from the project at a meeting hosted by the Lavaca Bay Foundation.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in Calhoun County’s extension office auditorium, 186 Henry Barber Way in Port Lavaca. The public is invited to attend, ask questions and give input, according to the Lavaca Bay Foundation.