Port Houston closing the year strong in business and community

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority met at its last regular monthly meeting of the year.

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority Regular Monthly Meeting.

Chairman Ric Campo opened the meeting by highlighting the recent Port Houston visit of Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo. Port Houston marked the occasion by joining with Belgium, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, the Center for Houston’s Future, WaterstofNet, Exmar, and the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition to sign a Memorandum of Understanding focused on energy transition cooperation efforts. 

The MOU was described as a “watershed moment” to expand that cooperation, continue growing relationships, and develop critically important energy-related trade.

Executive Director Roger Guenther highlighted a recent meeting held with scientists representing the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and environmental advocacy groups, hosted by Port Houston.  

Guenther shared that meeting participants discussed ongoing work in the Houston Ship Channel and the material dredged from the channel. “This technical meeting was something we all committed to doing, to ensure our local communities would have scientific, fact-based information regarding the makeup of the materials going into dredge sites in their areas,” he said.  

“We believe the results shared in the meeting indicate that the testing and analysis of dredged materials followed all current legal and regulatory requirements,” Guenther stated.  

Chairman Ric Campo greets Galena Park Mayor Esmeralda Moya at Port Houston’s 2nd Annual Posada Festival on Dec. 9.

“Our partners and agencies are committed to further discussing potential storm water management in these communities, in collaboration with the City of Houston and Harris County Flood Control District. That meeting should take place in January,” he added.  

“At Port Houston, we remain committed to transparency and listening to community members and their advocates’ feedback,” Guenther emphasized.

During the meeting, Chairman Campo also highlighted Port Houston’s 2nd Annual Posada Festival, a free community resource fair held this year in Galena Park. More than 1,200 people accessed services and resources, including free immunizations, mammogram screenings, job resources, and much more.

In his report to the Port Commission, the executive director shared that cargo remains steady and strong through Port Houston facilities.  Guenther reported that despite headwind experienced at some ports, Port Houston container volume was down only 5% through November, and overall tonnage only 9%, from 2022’s strong results. 

During the meeting, the Port Commission awarded nearly $50 million in contracts to further support the growth Port Houston is experiencing and adding to the more $350 million in capital projects (excluding Project 11) awarded year-to-date through November.  Finally, work on the Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11 continues to move forward: Port Houston is on pace to complete the Galveston Bay reach next year. 

The Port Commission meets next on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.