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Port of Corpus Christi closes out fiscal year with record tonnage

Port of Corpus Christi
Posted at 7:10 PM, Jan 24, 2023

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A 12 percent increase over 2021 volumes has landed the Port of Corpus Christi a new annual tonnage record of 187.9 million tons.

The Port of Corpus Christi finished 2022 with record tonnage thanks to a 21 percent year-over-year increase in refined products and a 15 percent percent YOY increase in total crude oil.

The Port of Corpus Christi averaged a record 2 million barrels of crude oil in export volumes per day, a significant increase from their 2021 average of 1.76 million barrels per day.

According to Port of Corpus Christi officials, petrochemical exports increased 23 percent YOY, reaching 3 million tons for the year.

LNG exports have doubled down since 2020 and increased 3.5 percent in 2022 as opposed to 2021. Major developments of Cheniere’s Corpus Christi Liquefaction facility will increase LNG exports by another 12 million tons per year over its current 16 million tons as they are expanding.

The Port of Corpus Christi also ended 2022 on another record high quarter in Q4 2022 – 49.6 million tons – passing their previous record of 48.3 million tons set in the previous quarter.

The Port of Corpus Christi‘s tonnage was 97.8 million metric tons for the periods July through December 2022, up 12 percent from the previous half-year record set in the second half of 2021.

“The Port of Corpus Christi continued to see strength in the energy and chemicals sectors in 2022, and we are grateful for our customers’ confidence in the gateway to move their goods to the markets that need them the most. The continuing trust of our industrial partners and overseas allies in our ability to deliver essential goods and services underscores the critical role the Port of Corpus Christi serves in the global trades,” said Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi.

“We do expect a leveling off of volume growth in 2023 as more indications of a global recession persist. However, the Port of Corpus Christi remains committed to its Capital Investment Program in 2023 and beyond, and we expect new investments and new energy initiatives to continue long after recessionary pressures ease," said Strawbridge.

A study done by research firm RBN Energy reveals the Port of Corpus Christi accounted for roughly 60 percent of all crude oil exports.

The Port of Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend have attracted more than $65 billion in private industrial investments while building a thriving community with 98,000 Port-related jobs.

Once the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project is complete in 2024, the Corpus Christi Ship Channel will be the deepest and widest ship channel in the entire U.S. Gulf.

Work on Phases 2 and 3 of this four-phase project are ongoing. The final phase will commence in 2023, courtesy of project closeout funding approved by Congress in December 2022.

The Port of Corpus Christi is exploring innovative initiatives such as scalable hydrogen, renewable energy production, and a centralized Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) solution for existing target sources and upcoming area projects.

“As the Energy Port of the Americas, the Port of Corpus Christi embraces new technologies but also remains committed to the enduring commodities that continue to power the energy landscape,” said Charles W. Zahn Jr., Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman. 

“We look forward to strengthening our longtime partnerships and welcoming new projects to the fold in this next chapter of our story," added Zahn.