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Harbor Island sees bright future in project cargo sector

Wind turbine blades arrive at Harbor Island [Image: Aransas Terminal Company]

Posted on October 11, 2021

The Aransas Terminal Company (ATC) says it has re-envisioned and relaunched its marine terminals at Harbor Island, Port Aransas,Texas, to serve the wind energy project cargo business and the offshore south Texas oil industry supply and service sector.

While current wind component shipments through the port are destined for the onshore renewables sector, there is also long-term potential for offshore wind component fabrication and supply. Having no bridges to cross under and thus no air draft restrictions will give great flexibility to future offshore wind farm developers that chose Aransas Terminal as a service base.

ATC was formed in July 2021 to lease, administer, operate and maintain the port facilities called Aransas Terminal – Harbor Island. The privately owned, deep- water, multi-use marine terminal facilities are located on the Corpus Christi Ship Channel less than three miles from the open Gulf of Mexico.

“With 3,000 linear feet of berth space, more than 120 developed acres, and 1,000 feet of frontage along Highway 361, the marine and landside facilities are already in business, handling project cargo operations and offshore oil and gas berthing and logistics,” said Burt Moorhouse, president of ATC.

The port facilities at Harbor Island were introduced following the dredging of the Aransas Pass in the late 1890s and predate the establishment of the Port of Corpus Christi. Harbor Island’s marine facilities have a rich history that includes extensive shipyard work, particularly in the fabrication of offshore oil production jackets of the 1970s.

“The same large-scale, heavy-spec improved soils and above-the-storm elevations that served the offshore fabrication industry of the past make Harbor Island a natural for importing and storing energy cargo today, especially wind energy components,” said Moorhouse.

The port has long-served as an offshore oil lay-up base, which will continue, although at a different level. ATC envisions a gradual transition away from lay-berthing as current economics lead to more scrapping of older offshore rigs.

“There is great opportunity for a more active Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling and production supply vessel base at Aransas Terminal. As the cold-stacked rigs depart, docks and terminals are being freed up. It’s a natural transition, in keeping with the port’s offshore energy legacy, to now serve offshore south Texas discoveries, as the industry can avoid the expense of that long run to Louisiana for fuel and supplies.”


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