Port Commission Considers $7 Million in Low-Emission Fuel Contracts & Grant Programs

Style News Wire | 4/27/2010, 4:49 p.m.
The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority will consider awarding a two-year, $5.5 million contract for unleaded gas ...

April 27, beginning at 9 a.m. in the boardroom of the Port Authority Executive Building, 111 East Loop North (Exit 29 off Loop 610) in Houston. Chairman Jim Edmonds will preside over the meeting with Commissioner Steve Phelps, Commissioner Jim Fonteno, Commissioner Kase Lawal, Commissioner Jimmy Burke, Commissioner Janiece Longoria, and Commissioner Elyse Lanier. Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Alec Dreyer has good news in his monthly financial report. Import and total steel tonnages in March were the highest the Port Authority has handled since April 2009. In addition, container TEUs year to date have increased 18 percent. The latest news on the Port Authority's Bayport Mitigation Solution program is that almost 100 eligible property owners along the north shore of Bayport terminal have applied for mitigation payments since the program was announced last month. 410 residential property owners (in an area defined by the results of a comprehensive independent study) have the opportunity to apply and participate, and may use the mitigation payments as they see fit. For more information, go to www.Bayportmitigationsolution.com.

ENGINEERING & REAL ESTATE MATTERS (Agenda H2) Commissioners will consider awarding a $261,103 construction contract to Metropolitan Landscape Management, Inc. for landscaping the west end sight and sound berm at Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal. The project will enhance the western 2,000 feet of the Bayport sight and sound berm, which begins at the intersection of Old State Highway 146 and Red Bluff Road. The contract includes planting and one year of maintenance for 585 trees, 842 evergreen shrubs, and native grass cover.

OPERATIONS MATTERS (Agenda L1)Commissioners will consider awarding a $5.5 million, two-year contract to Pumpelly Oil Company, LLC for the purchase of unleaded gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel for equipment at Barbours Cut, Bayport and Turning Basin terminals. (Agenda L2) Commissioners will consider amending Tariff No. 8 to provide for a special dockage rate for barges to lay at Port Authority wharves while awaiting loading or discharge docks within the Port of Houston and increase the free time for inbound direct discharge steel to 15 days. These changes would take effect on May 1. A shortage of barge fleeting areas on the Houston Ship Channel has resulted in barges being left in areas that create unsafe navigational conditions on the ship channel and intercoastal waterway. Separately, additional free time is being sought to help provide relief to importers of steel products under the current economic conditions, without negatively impacting dock availability and cargo operations. This measure is viewed as a short-term adjustment based upon space availability and may be readjusted as necessary.

ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS (Agenda P5) Commissioners will consider using nearly $1.5 million in National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program funds to reimburse Maersk Line for the differential cost of marine gas oil used in place of heavy fuel oil on the shipping line's vessels at port authority wharves. Port Authority, Maersk Line and EPA's Office of International Affairs previously partnered in November 2009 on a fuel switching demonstration project using cleaner fuel in the Gulf of Mexico. The Port of Houston Authority owns and operates the public facilities located along the Port of Houston, the 25-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities designed for handling general cargo, containers, grain and other dry bulk materials, project and heavy lift cargo, and other types of cargo. Each year, there are more than 7,700 vessel calls at the port, which ranks first in the U.S. in foreign waterborne tonnage and second in overall total tonnage. The port authority plays a vital role in ensuring navigational safety along the Houston Ship Channel, which has been instrumental in Houston's development as a center of international trade. The Barbours Cut Container Terminal and Central Maintenance Facility are the first of any U.S. port facilities to develop and implement an innovative Environmental Management System that meets the rigorous standards of ISO 14001. The second recertification of those facilities in 2009 included an extension for the state-of-the-art Bayport Container Terminal. The port authority is the first port authority in the world to receive ISO 28000:2007 certification for its port police and the perimeter security operations at both the Barbours Cut and Bayport Terminals. Additionally, the port is an approved delivery point for Coffee "C" futures contracts traded on the New York Board of Trade's Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange. For more information, please visit www.portofhouston.com To access the port's Web site photo gallery, please visit http://www.portofhouston.com/publicrelations/publicrelations.html and click the link for Port Authority Photo Gallery. The Port of Houston Authority logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=720.