NEWS Port of Houston to spend $1.3 million to improve Turning Basin Terminal

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has awarded a $1.3 million construction contract to Grant MacKay Company, Inc. for the razing of selected buildings at Turning Basin Terminal.

The project includes demolition and removal of existing concrete and steel building structures at multiple locations at the Turning Basin, including asbestos abatement, security lighting, fencing and camera relocation. These are part of a redevelopment plan for the Turning Basin Terminal, which is expected to increase the value of the properties.

Additionally, in a move to ensure that Bayport and Barbours Cut channel and berthing area improvements remain on schedule for completion in 2014, the Port Commission approved advertising for and receiving bids, proposals or professional qualifications for the work.

Plans call for the channels and berths at the Bayport and Barbours Cut container facilities to be deepened to 45 feet to match the depth of the Houston Ship Channel.

Executive Director Len Waterworth reported that total tonnage for September is up three million tons or one  percent and year to date, 27 million tons, up three percent. Container tonnage is at 1.5 million tons for the month, down nine percent, a small "anomaly" that will be tracked, he said. Year to date, container tonnage is at 15 million tons, up five percent.

While steel is down, bulk cargo is rising, he said. Steel is at 402,000 tons for the month, down 17 percent, and 3.5 million tons year to date, down 19 percent. Bulk cargo is at one million tons for the month, up 33 percent, and 8.5 million tons year to date, up 18 percent.

Waterworth noted that operating revenue for September is $18 million, down three percent, due to the soft month in container tonnage. Year to date, operating revenue is $174 million, up four percent, due to a strong container growth for the year, which offset a decline in steel.

Operating expenses are $13 million or flat to the prior year, and $117 million year to date, up three percent. Net operating income is $2 million for the month, flat to the prior year, and $23 million year to date, up 14 percent, which he attributed to steady revenue performance combined with lower spending.

"Overall, Port Authority tonnage and finances are in very good shape," Waterworth concluded.


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