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Solomon P. Ortiz Dry Dock Retired After 28 Years of Service at the Port

After over 20 years of service in Seatrium AmFEL’s shipyard at the Port of Brownsville, the Solomon P. Ortiz dry dock was retired in May and the contract for its dismantling and recycling was awarded to neighboring SA Recycling-SteelCoast.

The dry dock helped AmFELS land important projects supporting thousands of jobs in the Rio Grande Valley and solidifying the company as the foremost offshore shipyard on the Gulf of Mexico capable of designing, constructing, and repairing mobile drilling rigs and offshore oil platforms.

Seatrium AmFELS Senior Marketing Manager Khon-Whey Tay said the dry dock was vital to several projects over the years including the construction of the Helix Well Ops Q4000 DP3 Well Intervention Vessel, a semisubmersible vessel designed for well intervention and construction in water depths to 10,000 ft. After the vessel’s completion and delivery, the Q4000 re

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BND Chairman Guerra Joins Border Trade Alliance

Brownsville Navigation District (BND) Chairman Esteban Guerra was appointed to serve on the Border Trade Alliance (BTA) Board of Directors during the organization’s Summer 2024 meeting held in June in Washington, D.C.

In a news release, BTA President Britton Mullen said Guerra’s appointment “underscores the BTA’s commitment to enhancing trade efficiency across all modes of transport.” A major center for intermodal transportation and industrial development, the Port of Brownsville is the only deepwater seaport directly on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We are so fortunate to welcome Esteban Guerra to the Border Trade Alliance Board of Directors. His expertise on public and private sector policies will help make our borders more efficient, secure, and economically competitive,” Mullen said.

Since 1986, the BTA has served as a grassroots, non-profit organization that provides a

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Bechtel Opens Rio Grande Valley Recruitment Center for Craft Professionals

Editor’s Note: This article is originally featured at www. bechtel.com

Bechtel Corporation, the company constructing NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG (RGLNG) project at the Port of Brownsville celebrated the opening of its Recruitment Center in Brownsville on June 18.

The center provides a location for members of the Brownsville and surrounding communities to connect with recruiters, learn more about employment opportunities with Bechtel at the RGLNG project, and expedite the onboarding process when joining the Bechtel team.

The construction phase of the RGLNG facility is expected to bring thousands of good-paying jobs to the region.

“The opening of the Bechtel Craft Professional Recruitment Center marks a significant milestone in our commitment to the Rio Grande Valley community an

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Hurricane Beryl Bypasses Rio Grande Valley

On July 3, the Port of Brownsville began preparations for potential impacts from Hurricane Beryl, the first major storm of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Beryl made landfall July 8 as a Category 1 hurricane north of the Rio Grande Valley, near Matagorda Bay.

The Port entered Hurricane Condition III – Imminent Storm Preparation – as Beryl approached the South Texas coast and advised all port tenants to be ready for the hazardous weather event. The port’s Emergency Operations team monitored the storm’s progress and provided updates and alerts to port staff and tenants.

U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Sector Corpus Christi set port Condition Whiskey on July 3, before progressively downgrading until reaching Condition Zulu on July 7 and suspending vessel traffic. On July 8, the Captain of the Port authorized the resumption of normal maritime traffic in the Brownsvill

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HURRICANE BERYL UPDATE: CONDITION ZULU RESCINDED FOR PORT OF BROWNSVILLE

BROWNSVILLE, Texas- Monday, July 8, 2024 – The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port has authorized the resumption of normal maritime traffic in the Brownsville Ship Channel as of 11 a.m. today, July 8, 2024.

Routine port operations have resumed. The Harbor Master’s Office has begun vessel scheduling for inbound vessels.

All mariners are reminded to use extreme caution when transiting waterways in South Texas as debris and hazards due to Hurricane Beryl may be present.

All hazards are requested to be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard Sector/ Air Station Corpus Christi Command Center on VHF radio channel 16 or by phone at 1-800-874-2143.

 

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HURRICANE BERYL UPDATE: Port of Brownsville Under Condition Zulu

BROWNSVILLE, Texas- Sunday, July 7, 2024 – The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port has set the Port of Brownsville to Condition Zulu, suspending all vessel traffic. All movements require Captain of the Port approval.

Gale force winds from Hurricane Beryl are expected to make landfall along the Texas coast within 12 hours.

The SH 550 gate and the gates to the Fishing Harbor remain open, observing regular hours of operation. Any gate closures due to inclement weather will be notified to all port tenants.

The Port continues to monitor the trajectory of Hurricane Beryl and has prepared for any potential impacts the storm may have in our area. We are working closely with emergency management officials to determine any additional actions necessary to ensure public safety.

Stay tuned for further updates from port authorities and emergency management officials.

For storm updates

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HURRICANE BERYL UPDATE: Port of Brownsville Under Condition Yankee

BROWNSVILLE, Texas- Saturday, July 6, 2024 – The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port has set the Port of Brownsville to Condition Yankee as of 2 p.m. today, July 6, 2024. This condition indicates that hurricane-force winds are possible within 48 hours.

The Captain of the Port will set Port Condition ZULU (hurricane-force winds possible within 12 hours) at 7 p.m. today, July 6.

The SH 550 gate and the gates to the Fishing Harbor remain open observing regular hours of operation. Any gate closures due to inclement weather will be notified to all port tenants if necessary.

The Port continues to monitor the trajectory of Hurricane Beryl and has prepared for any potential impacts the storm may have in our area. We are working closely with emergency management officials to determine any additional actions necessary to ensure public safety.

Stay tuned for further updates from port a

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HURRICANE BERYL UPDATE: Port of Brownsville Under Condition X-Ray

BROWNSVILLE, Texas- Friday, July 5, 2024 – The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port has set the Port of Brownsville to Condition X-Ray as of 2 p.m. today, July 5, 2024. This condition indicates that hurricane-force winds are possible within 48 hours.

The Port continues to monitor the trajectory of Hurricane Beryl and has prepared for any potential impacts the storm may have in our area. We are working closely with emergency management officials to determine any additional actions necessary to ensure public safety.

Stay tuned for further updates from port authorities and emergency management officials.

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Port of Brownsville Climbs to Top 50 Ranking for Cargo Movement in U.S.

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — May 22, 2024 —The Port of Brownsville’s record-breaking streak continues as it rose to 50th position in the nation among 150 maritime ports for the movement of waterborne cargo, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2022 Annual Report.

Throughout 2022, the port’s waterways handled 9.1 million tons of cargo marking an increase from 2021’s 8.9 million tons. The new numbers pushed the port from the 55th position to 50th on the list.

This upward trend continued throughout 2023 as total cargo tonnage at the port rose to 17.8 million tons, up 17% from 15.2 million tons in 2022, according to unaudited reports for FY 2023. Waterborne cargo accounted for approximately 12.3 million tons while non-waterborne cargo totaled 5.5 million tons.

Leading commodities at the Port of Brownsville include steel, liquid bulk products, wind energy components, and a

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BND Commission Names Esteban Guerra Chairman

Ernesto Gutierrez, John Reed, and Sergio Tito Lopez take the oath of office following their victories in the May 4, 2024, BND General Election

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — May 16, 2024 — Brownsville Navigation District (BND) Commissioner Esteban Guerra, was unanimously reappointed chairman of the BND Board of Commissioners during the board’s regular meeting held Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

During the meeting, Commissioner, Place 1, Ernesto Gutierrez, Commissioner, Place 3, John Reed, and Commissioner, Place 5, Sergio Tito Lopez, took the oath of office following their victories in the May 4, 2024, BND General Election. Lopez and Reed were reelected to a fifth term on the board while Gutierrez begins his first term after replacing former Commissioner Ralph Cowen, who chose not to seek reelection. State District Judge Arturo Nelson administered the oath to Lopez

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BND General Election: Official Election Results

***OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS***

Brownsville Navigation District General Election May 4, 2024

Early Voting results, mail-in votes, plus 58 of 58 precincts reported for Election Day.

Commissioner, Place 1

  • Patrick Everitt                                   1,211
  • Humberto (Beto) Torres                 1,665
  • Carlos L. Garcia                                2,678
  • Ernesto “Ernie” Gutierrez              3,923

Commissioner, Place 3

  • Andres Rios                                    1,500
  • John Reed                                       3,164
  • Norma Lee Valle                            1,810
  • Eduardo “Eddie” Campirano      2,912
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Celebrating Service: BND Commissioner Ralph Cowen Completes Final Term

BROWNSVILLE, Texas, May 3, 2024 – After more than a decade of dedicated service, Ralph Cowen, Commissioner, Place 1 of the Brownsville Navigation District (BND) concluded his final term. Cowen did not seek reelection in the Brownsville Navigation District General Election taking place May 4, 2024.

At a regular board meeting held May 1, the BND Board of Commissioners presented Cowen with a resolution honoring his dedicated service to the navigation district and the Port of Brownsville.

“We are grateful for Commissioner Cowen’s leadership and dedication to the Port of Brownsville,” said Brownsville Navigation District Chairman Esteban Guerra. “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to him for his invaluable service and wish him continued success in all future endeavors.”

A U.S. Army Veteran, Cowen was first elected to the BND Board in May 2008, and served as Chairman fro

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Recognizing Achievement: Port of Brownsville Awards $1,000 Scholarships to High School Graduates

BROWNSVILLE, Texas, April 26, 2024 – Thirty-two graduating high school seniors have been selected to receive the Brownsville Navigation District’s (BND) 2024 Port of Brownsville Scholarship.

The recipients will each receive $1,000 scholarships upon enrollment in a college, university, or technical school. The scholarship winners – selected for their academic performance, community involvement, extracurricular activities, and work experience, as well as for essays penned as part of their applications – attend 16 public and private high schools located within the navigation district.

“On behalf of the Brownsville Navigation District, I extend my congratulations to these amazing students,” said BND Chairman Esteban Guerra. “We are thrilled to see our local talent move forward to the next chapter in their educational journey. The future of the region rests on the shou

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Port of Brownsville Business Park Lands First Tenant

Westa Inc. to Invest $20 Million in State-of-the-Art Flour Mill

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Friday, April 19, 2024 — The Port of Brownsville is proud to announce a ceremonial groundbreaking for its first tenant at the Port of Brownsville Business Park, Westa Inc. The ceremony, held Thursday, April 18, marks a significant milestone in the development of the port’s 118-acre business park.

Westa Inc., a major player in the agricultural industry, will invest $20 million to establish a state-of-the-art wheat flour mill and wheat storage silos at the Port of Brownsville. The company will develop more than 10 acres at the business park, located right at the turning basin of the Brownsville Ship Channel. Once operational, the facility will employ 120 people.

“We are excited to welcome Westa Inc. to the Port of Brownsville Business Park and look

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Port Awarded $1.1M for Vessel Suitability and Feasibility Project

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – April 8, 2024 —The Port of Brownsville was recently named the recipient of $1,116,279 in funding from the federal government for its Port of Brownsville Vessel Suitability Analysis and Feasibility project. Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34) announced the award Mar. 22, as part of $15,622,100 in Community Project Funding for the 34th Congressional District of Texas.

“By passing this final tranche of long-awaited funding bills, the U.S. House of Representatives has avoided a devastating and unnecessary partial government shutdown and provided vital funding for our region,” said Congressman Vicente Gonzalez in a press release. “I am proud to deliver millions of dollars to improve roads and drainage, support local law enforcement, and increase economic development in South Texas.”

The Vessel Suitability Analysis and Feasibility project is essential to

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