Port of Beaumont Newsletter- December 2017
Liberty Global Logistics Welcomes New Vessel to the Fleet
In honor of the maiden voyage of the Liberty Peace, a plaque was presented to Capt. Raider of Liberty Global Logistics by Port of Beaumont staff and members of the 842nd Transportation Battalion, 597th Transportation Brigade, SDDC on December 5, 2017.

The vessel was designed to transport commercial vehicles, rolling stock and project cargo, as well as military wheeled and containerized equipment such as M-ATVs, HUMVEEs, MRAPs, armored personnel carriers, tanks, helicopters and unit equipment. When used to carry commercial cargoes, the vessel is capable of carrying up to approximately 6,500 cars on 12 decks and has a total deck area of approximately 580,000 square feet.
Voters Approve $85 Million in General Obligation Bonds
On November 7, 2017, the Port of Beaumont successfully passed an $85 million bond referendum, which will fund a portion of three major projects aimed at expanding port facilities, increasing capacity, and improving efficiency. A total of 2,446 ballots were cast, 1,631 in favor and 815 against, indicating Southeast Texas residents understand how the proposed projects will impact the local economy. The next step in the process will be to continue the planning phase of the most significant project, the rebuilding of Docks 2, 3 and 4, which will be renamed “Main Street Terminal 1”. Renderings of the new dock have been completed and preliminary engineering is underway.

“We are thrilled with the results and recognize this would not have been possible without the concerted effort of our industry partners, civic organizations invested in the growth of Southeast Texas, and citizens who understand the role the Port plays in the economic growth of our area,” say Port Director and CEO, Chris Fisher.

As an economic engine in Southeast Texas, and the 5 th largest port in the nation in terms of tonnage, the Port places emphasis on the importance of being located in a community that supports growth. Through this support, the port is able to leverage public funds in a way that positively benefits Southeast Texas.
Fiscal Year 2016/2017
380+ Vessels

17,000+ Rail Cars

5,000+ Trucks

3.3 Million Tons of Cargo
Port Director Attends Congressional PORTS Caucus Meeting on Disaster Preparedness in Washington D.C .
On November 29, 2017, Port Director Chris Fisher attended the Congressional PORTS Caucus briefing in Washington D.C. The discussion focused on how ports prepare for and recover from hurricanes and the federal government's role in these processes.

Panelists included: Chris Fisher, Port of Beaumont; Phyllis Saathoff, Port Freeport; Mark McAndrews, Port of Pascagoula; and Commander Brian McSorley, U.S. Coast Guard.
JGP Energy Partners Accepts First Ethanol Unit Train

JGP Energy Partners, a joint venture between Jefferson Energy Companies and Green Plains Inc., is poised for growth and ready to capitalize on their $55 million investment into an ethanol terminal located in Orange County, Texas.

On November 3, 2017, the first ethanol unit train rolled into the terminal, which has the ability to discharge up to 120-car unit trains of ethanol in less than 24 hours and has the capacity to hold two full unit-trains at a time. The first ethanol shipment of approximately 3.1 million gallons was piped from the unit train through the new loadout facility to the ethanol storage tanks. On November 29, 2017, the ethanol was loaded onto a merchant vessel, destined for Brazil. As ethanol exports continue to increase, JGP will serve the nation and the world as an intermodal export and import distribution hub for ethanol and other refined products.
POB Hires Former Captain of the Port, Port Arthur, TX
On October 2, 2017 the Port of Beaumont welcomed retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain, Randal Ogrydziak, to the team as the director of security, facilities, and regulatory compliance. Ogrydziak recently retired as a senior Coast Guard officer with 38 years of experience leading large, operationally complex, integrated military, law enforcement, and emergency management organizations in today's dynamic global response environment.
 
Ogrydziak previously served as commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur from July 2014 thru June 2017. As captain of the port, officer in-charge of marine inspections, federal maritime security coordinator, and federal on-scene coordinator, he directed all maritime safety, security, and environmental response missions throughout South East Texas and South West Louisiana.
Ernest Bezdek Speaks on Port of Beaumont Expansion at Breakbulk Americas 2017

Breakbulk Americas 2017, which took place in Houston, Texas, welcomed 4,555 attendees and 326 exhibitors, with representation from 65 countries.

For Breakbulk's official recap, click here .
Port Welcomes Elected Officials from Across the State
Texas General Land Commissioner, George P. Bush, visited the Port of Beaumont on August 16, 2017 to discuss the importance of Texas ports to the national economy. The General Land Office manages state lands, operates the Alamo, helps Texans recovering from natural disasters, helps fund Texas public education through the Permanent School Fund, provides benefits to Texas Veterans, and manages
the vast Texas coast.   
Congressman Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, Texas visited the Port of Beaumont in mid-August to discuss the strategic importance of the Port and gain a better understanding of the economic importance of Southeast Texas. O'Rourke, who serves on the House Committee on Armed Services and the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, visited during one of the largest military exercises in the port's history.
Large Military Exercise Tested by Tropical Storm Harvey
From August 10, 2017 to August 27, 2017, the 842 nd Transportation Battalion, 597 th Transportation Brigade, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), worked twenty-four hours per day to complete one of the largest military exercises in the Port of Beaumont’s history. Designated as a “Strategic Deepwater Port” by the Department of Defense, the Port of Beaumont plays an integral role in the security of our nation and has relied on the professionalism and knowledge of 842 nd Transportation Battalion, or its predecessors, for more than 50 years.
 
The exercise, which was interrupted by Tropical Storm Harvey, served as an opportunity to test the capabilities and preparedness of the Port of Beaumont and the 842 nd Transportation Battalion and evaluate the coordination and capabilities of the civilian infrastructure on which the Army relies. Through this move, the 842 nd Transportation Battalion supported the deployment of 2 nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1 st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kansas, to Europe. More than 2,500 pieces of military equipment, including heavy armor M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M88 Armored Recovery Vehicles and others, arrived at the Port via rail and truck from Fort Riley, Kansas, were off-loaded, and then were loaded onto three ships that brought them to their final destination in Europe. Although moves such as this are standard fare for the 842 nd Transportation Battalion, it is the size, scope and complexity of this exercise that warranted recognition.

Though Hurricane Harvey caused unprecedented devastation in Southeast Texas, it also highlighted the strategic importance of the region and the Port of Beaumont. In the midst of one of the largest military exercises in the port's history, Hurricane Harvey made landfall. Shoaling from Harvey decreased the draft from 40 feet t0 26 feet, with draft restrictions in place for more than two weeks. The dredging needs were immediate and fortunately, took precedent over many of the other dredging operations that were needed at the time. Due to the significance of the military exercise and the importance of the Port of Beaumont to national security, the dredging of the waterway was expedited and the military exercise was completed with partnership from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Sabine Pilots.

Sen. Creighton and Rep. Deshotel Honored at Annual Seafarers' Center of Beaumont Gala
The Seafarers' Center of Beaumont honored Sen. Brandon Creighton and Rep. Joe Deshotel with the Tom Jackson Sabine Neches Waterway Outstanding Service Award on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at the organization's annual gala at the MCM Elegante.

The award was created to honor individuals who realize the importance of the Southeast Texas waterway system and have acted to improve and develop the waterway’s potential with sustained and measurable results.

Sen. Creighton, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Texas Ports, and Rep. Deshotel, Chair of the Texas Ports, Innovation and Infrastructure House Select Committee, play key roles in keeping Texas ports competitive.

In the 85th Legislative Session, Rep. Deshotel authored HB 4021 and Sen. Creighton authored companion bill SB 28 – both creating ways for ports to receive financing to fund infrastructure improvements. These bills are significant in that they afford Texas ports the opportunity to secure loans that can be used for channel improvements, which ultimately puts them in a position to keep up with ports that receive state funding for improvements and maintenance.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Beaumont voters approve $85 million in port bonds
The Importance of Ports
Breakbulk Americas 2017 sees more than 4.5 K in attendance- BBJ
Chamber Economic Development Breakfast- BBJ
Texas Association of Business 85th Legislative Session Results- txbiz.org
McFaddin Beach and Dune Restoration Awarded $15.8 Million Grant- KFDM