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Corps funds near for Sabine-Neches

Special to The News

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is set to receive $18 million in federal funding for Fiscal Year 2019 to begin the “New Start” construction phase of the federally authorized Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project.

The New Start designation along with the federal-share funding for the project kick off the construction phase and partnership agreement between the USACE and the Sabine-Neches Navigation District to begin the process of deepening the Sabine-Neches Waterway from 40 to 48 feet, ensuring that waterborne commerce can utilize a deeper ship channel.

Congress is allocating the funds as part of the USACE Fiscal Year 2019 Work Plan following the passage of the first Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 by Congress on Sept. 21.

“Let’s dig it!” said SNND Board Chairman Paul Beard. “We are deeply appreciative of the Trump administration, our congressional leaders and partners at the Corps for recognizing the strategic importance of the Sabine-Neches Waterway to the nation by allocating their share of these initial funds to begin construction of the deepening project. I would commend SNND General Manager Randall Reese for his steadfast leadership, district staff for their dedication and the Board of Commissioners for their unwavering support of the project.”

“The Sabine-Neches Waterway is one of the most critical energy and military transit assets in our country. While most Americans may not yet have heard of us, we deliver for them every day,” said Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick. “I applaud the Trump administration for prioritizing Jefferson County and the ship channel that produces and delivers energy resources to the nation and our allies abroad. ”

The Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project was federally authorized under the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. Earlier this year, the Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project and its federal partner the USACE received funds to complete the planning, engineering, and design phase of the channel improvement project.

The Sabine-Neches Waterway is currently the nation’s largest exporter of crude oil, liquefied natural gas and petroleum coke. Home to the nation’s third-largest refining complex, proposed expansions to increase refining capacity at existing operations would make it the largest in the United States.

In 2017, the Sabine-Neches Waterway accounted for more than $20 billion in exports and produced a balance of trade surplus of about $9 billion. The waterway is expected to increase its annual exports to more than $73 billion by 2026 with a projected balance of trade surplus of about $62 billion.