Calhoun Port Authority

Calhoun Port Authority

POINT COMFORT—The Calhoun Port Authority plans to give Max Midstream Texas exclusive rights to sell bunker fuels to all users of the port, according to a memorandum of understanding port board members swiftly approved Wednesday.

“This is a very important portion of the future development of the port,” said Board Chairman J.C. Melcher Jr. “The volume that will be generated over the next three years is going to be immense and a key component of the development and enlargement of the port.”

The port does not have anyone providing bunkering services onsite so port users have to bring in their own fuel from larger ports, such as Corpus Christi or Houston, to fill up vessels.

Having Max Midstream offer bunker services will give port users a more convenient option and serve as an incentive that can attract more business and development, said Port Director Charles Hausmann.

As part of the project, Max Midstream would pay the port a convenience fee of 3 cents per gallon for each gallon of bunker fuel sold at the port. Bunkering services would be provided by the energy company for a term of 30 years.

The term and convenience fee are subject to change, as Hausmann emphasized the memorandum is non-binding and a step toward a binding agreement that the port and Max Midstream plan to reach.

“This just kind of gives us a frame work of what we’re going to lay out,” he told the board.

The board also approved a proposal from Belaire Environmental, Inc. for consultation on design, bidding and construction monitoring of the mitigation site in Lavaca Bay that has to be constructed in conjunction with the LD-1 Dredging Project on the South Peninsula.

Belaire Environmental will provide services to finalize the mitigation site, which includes the enhancement of marshes in about a 14-acre stretch of Lavaca Bay on the north side of the SH-35 Causeway. The area was selected in part because the bay bottom is clear of oysters, Hausmann said.

Belaire Environmental has implemented the usage of dredged material for mitigation sites throughout Texas, including six similar projects at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and Goose Island State Park.

Professional services from the environmental company are estimated to cost between $225,000 and $325,000. The costs of construction are estimated to cost between $2.5 million-$3 million.

The port will also have to select an engineering firm to do the design work for Belaire, Hausmann said.

In other action, the port approved three easements and right of way agreements with American Electric Power for utility lines on port property.

Easements include one that will allow power to travel to the shuttered Aloca aluminum building that Simplot Fertilizer is leasing from Alcoa, one that will allow power to travel to the new port administration building and one that will allow power to travel to Max Midstream’s tanks and storage facilities.

Last May, the port leased land on the North Peninsula to Max Midstream to build office building and a crude oil and condensate analysis laboratory. As part of the lease, Max Midstream agreed to lease about 4,000 square feet of office space to the port for $1 per year.

Hausmann said he is hoping the port authority will be able to move into the new office building within the next 60 days.

“Everything is pretty much completed,” he said. “We’re just trying to get the potable water and sewage tied in, as well as the electricity.”

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Kali Venable is an investigative and environmental reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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