POINT COMFORT — Calhoun port officials on Wednesday approved the issuance of $120 million in bonds to Max Midstream Texas to help refinance the construction of dock and wharf facilities as part of a $1 billion project intended to transform the port into a major oil export center.
The port initially issued $85 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds last November to finance or refinance the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, development, installation and improvement of dock and wharf facilities owned by the port that will be leased to Max Midstream or a subsidiary of the company.
Gregory Salinas, a municipal finance attorney who is advising port officials, said the new bond issuance will allow the refinancing of bonds previously issued in December that were set to mature at the end of July.
The newly issued bonds will cover construction at the port, where Max Midstream is upgrading its export facilities at the Seahawk Terminal and adding 600,000 barrels of storage, and in Edna, where the company planned to build new pipelines and interconnects and add another 1.5 million barrels of storage.
Refinancing will allow the port to add additional tax-exempt facilities at the Calhoun port and a “small subset of taxable facilities,” Salinas said.
“All this is a continuation of the project,” Salinas said. “(The bonds are) adding some new money, and that’s the purpose of having the public hearing today.”
Also on Wednesday, port officials voted to begin advertising for bids for a dredging project at one of its liquid docks. Port Engineer Felicia Harral said the engineering on that project is done, but environmental mitigation must still be completed.
That project is likely to start in September, said Calhoun Port Director Charles Hausmann.
Port officials also went into closed session to discuss economic development negotiations with a business prospect; discuss the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property; and seek the advice of its attorney.
No public action was taken on those items Wednesday.