Starting in Fall 2019, the Port will be ramping up infrastructure, resiliency and security improvement projects that will help sustain the level of growth they have experienced over the last several years. The Port closed out FY 2018-2019 with operating revenues exceeding $24 million, a 42% increase over the previous year. Tonnage, or cargo volume, increased more than 71 percent, and almost every cargo segment has seen double digit growth year-over-year.
“This banner year is attributed to several things; a strong Port team including commissioners and staff, a forward-thinking approach to infrastructure development, a favorable market, and a commitment to being good stewards of public funds,” says Port Director Chris Fisher. “The Port of Beaumont has identified more than $458 million in projects that we are working toward completing as part of our Capital Improvement Program. Our top priorities have always been fiscal responsibility, job creation, and economic growth and we are proud see our efforts paying off.”
In addition to the projects that will be funded by the Port and private partners, there are several in the pipeline that will be funded or partially funded by state and federal grants awarded to the Port of Beaumont over the last year. The three grants awarded to the Port in this timeframe were:
$719,941 FEMA Port Security Grant
$1,072,260 FEMA Harvey Grant
$5,000,000 Economic Development Administration Grant
The Port Security Grant will fund four projects that will improve safety and security at the Port of Beaumont including construction of a new security control center, deployment of a new interoperable communication system, purchase of an emergency generator and purchase of software to maintain the Port’s security systems. The FEMA Harvey grant will fund a portion of the Port’s Shoreline Repair project, an area that was damaged during Tropical Storm Harvey. And the $5 million Economic Development Administration grant will go toward the first phase of a $79 million dock project that will increase cargo handling capacity by 25% and support approximately 3,000 additional direct, induced, indirect and related user jobs.
Year-over-year, the Port of Beaumont experienced a 106.9% increase in liquid bulk cargo, 59.6% increase in dry bulk cargo, 36.4% increase in bulk grain, 23.9% increase in bagged goods, 68% increase in forest products, 104.9% increase in metal articles, and a 53% increase in project cargo, resulting in a 71.6% increase in tonnage overall. The growth in these areas, coupled with planned infrastructure improvement projects, is a testament to the increasingly significant role the Port plays in the national economy.