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Port of Corpus Christi abruptly ends Lone star Ports lease of Harbor Island

Posted at 10:41 AM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 11:41:45-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It wasn’t expected and it took some by surprise. Tuesday, commissioners with the Port of Corpus Christi voted to end the lease of Lone Star Ports.

The group was to build a major loading facility out on Harbor Island in the Port Aransas area. That terminal would have been used to load very large crude carriers, or VLCC's, with crude oil.

Some are taking this as a win, but are left with more questions.

"Was it a breach of contract?" asked James King, who is the president of Port Aransas Conservancy. "Is it over, as far as Harbor Island? Are they looking at other avenues for an export facility? So, lots of questions . Lots of backroom communication that the public doesn’t hear that the public needs to hear."

Besides the contract being terminated there is no other information coming from the commission. King said the commissioners haven't been transparent about the project from the start.

The Port Aransas Conservancy has fought Lone Star Port's lease, for some time. They site the environmental impact it could have.

"It would disrupt greatly the natural flow of the bay system," said King. "And then just the industrialization, you know, burning vapors right here. Right across from our park our city park.

I’m thinking possibly that their funding source never materialized and the economics just may not be there to build something this big.”

King said it may be a project for another area, but not Harbor Island.

"Industrialization needs to be focused in certain areas," he said. "And not sprawling out into all areas."

The mayor of Port Aransas doesn’t want to comment until he learns more about why the action was taken. The president of the Port Commission was unavailable to give a comment.