Following the recent meeting of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority, the following news items of note were released.
The Port Commission approved a $68 million construction contract with Orion Construction L.P. for Bayport and Barbours Cut channel improvements. These significant dredging projects will begin, following issuance of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits and approval of its assumption of maintenance of the channels, Executive Director Roger Guenther reported.
Pilotage rates agreement
In her role as Chairman of the Board of Pilot Commissioners, Chairman Longoria commended the Houston Pilots and maritime industry representatives for working cooperatively, with goodwill, and on behalf of the best interests of port stakeholders as they reached an agreement for 2014, 2015 and 2016 pilot rates. The Pilot Board went on to approve
the agreement at today's meeting.
Port's monthy financial & cargo report
The Port Authority's monthly financial and cargo report for February 2014 shows solid results, and Guenther added that facility operations showed strong results during the first two months of the year. Year-to-date operating revenue is up $2 million, net operating income is up $2 million, and cash flow is up $2.2 million, after setting aside two non-recurring revenue events from early 2013, which caused an overall decrease in those categories.
"The cash flow realized from our operations is crucial as we continue to reinvest in our facilities to prepare for future growth," Guenther said.
Although year-to-date overall container volume is down slightly, the volume of loaded containers remains flat when compared to 2013. Container volume is expected to be very solid in March, Guenther said, with 3 to 4 percent overall growth in containers expected for the year.
Houston Ship Channel collision
Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria commented on the recent collision in the Houston Ship Channel, which resulted in a significant amount of bunker fuel being spilled near the Texas City Dike. Chairman Longoria lauded the U.S. Coast Guard, the Texas General Land Office, and other incident participants for their expert handling of containment and emergency response efforts. She also noted that the Port Authority's Farnsworth fireboat was deployed to the response.