PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

January 6, 2013

Valero to open oil dock on Pleasure Island

Brooke Crum
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — By the time the new year is rung in again, oil tankers will be able to nuzzle up next to Pleasure Island and unload their cargo no matter the hour of the day.

Valero Terminaling and Distribution Co. and TGS Development will have completed a crude oil terminal on Pleasure Island by the end of 2013 that would be capable of receiving and unloading large tankers, day or night, which would decrease delivery costs.

The joint venture, called PI Dock Facilities LLC, is a $75 million investment, said Terry Doyle, chairman of the Pleasure Island Commission.

TGS Development would serve as the terminal developer while Valero Terminaling and Distribution would operate the oil terminal, according to a press release.

The terminal would be able to accommodate larger ships that cannot travel farther up the Sabine-Neches Ship Channel and unload any time of day, any day of the week, Doyle said.

Crude unloaded at the terminal would be able to reach the Valero Port Arthur Refinery through a new 36-inch pipeline, according to the press release. That pipeline could connect to the other area refineries, like Motiva Enterprises, Total Port Arthur Refinery or ExxonMobil. And the terminal location has enough space — 100 acres — for other similar developments.

“I’m tickled we were able to pull this off because it will bring in a good bit of money,” Doyle said.

The new terminal would not only bring jobs to the Port Arthur area but tax revenue, as well, Doyle said. And further development of the island.

“It’s a no-lose situation,” he said.

Pleasure Island leased the land to TGS Development and Valero Terminaling and Distribution, so the island’s commission did not have to get permission from the city for the lease. The ship channel would be dredged in order to be able to accommodate crude tankers of up to the Suezmax class, which can carry up to 1 million barrels of oil.

The southern end of the island, where the new terminal would be, was more suited for industrial use than anything, Doyle said. Tankers would dock perpendicular to the island, and passing ships would not necessarily know that the terminal was there.

Come spring, the island would be able to reap the rewards of another project: a brand new, $10-million marina complete with a set of floating docks. And by summer, the golf course would be open for business on the island.

“The island will probably be in better shape than ever next year,” Doyle said.

email: bcrum@panews.com

twitter: @broocrum