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Port of Corpus Christi Approves Harbor Island Lease

A marine terminal and docks proposed for Harbor Island in Port Aransas will be able to handle loading Very Large Crude Carriers, known as VLCCs, such as the Cap Romuald, which was loaded with 930,000 barrels of crude oil via NuStar Energy at Port Corpus Christi in April, 2017.

A multibillion-dollar lease of land on Harbor Island in Port Aransas was approved by the Port of Corpus Christi on March 28. The vote to lease 200 acres of land to Lone Star Ports LLC was delayed by an injunction on March 25. The stay issued by the 13th Court of Appeals was lifted a few days later, allowing the vote to move forward.

About 30 Port Aransas residents attended the Thursday meeting to protest the agreement that will allow construction to begin on a major marine terminal, docks, and pipeline on the island at the mouth of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. The 50-year lease is expected to bring in revenue to the port between a minimum of $2 billion to a possible maximum of $4 billion over the life of the lease.

On March 18, Kenneth Berry, a former port commissioner and president of Port Corpus Christi LP, requested a temporary restraining order on the vote in County Court of Law. Judge Mark Woerner denied the request because he did not have enough time to study the issue before the scheduled vote.

Berry appealed the decision to the 13th Court of Appeals. The three-judge panel ordered the stay until they could look into the case. The stay was lifted March 25.

Berry filed for the injunction because he said commissioners violated the Open Meetings Act by not being more transparent about the negotiation process. The project was announced October 2018 and is expected to be completed by sometime in 2020.

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