Vol. 5, No. 12, May 2021
The USS Nassau, an amphibious assault ship from the U.S. Navy, arrived at the Port of Brownsville on April 30, 2021. SteelCoast will carryout the remediation and recycling of the ship over the next 12 months.
SteelCoast's Growing Momentum Delivers Gains
Despite industry challenges faced in 2020, SteelCoast, LLC, a preeminent reclamation, remediation, and recycling facility at the Port of Brownsville recorded a successful year with new management at the helm focused on efficiencies, safety and excellence. 

"The SteelCoast team recognized that 2020 was going to provide challenges in every aspect of our industry," said Mark Hodgson, president of the company. "The decision was immediately made to turn adversity into opportunity and focus on the details of the business and the employees that support it."
That strategy proved successful as more than 44,000 tons of steel and other metals were processed and shipped out to mills from the SteelCoast shipyard in 2020 and the company projects to increase production to more than 70,000 tons this year.

The company has already processed and shipped out more than 25,000 tons of steel and other metals in the last six months and will continue to add to its production after receiving a contract from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to recycle the USS Nassau (LHA-4), a Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship that was decommissioned in 2011. The ship arrived at the SteelCoast yard on April 30th and is expected to take 12 months to remediate and process.
Workers at the Port of Brownsville unload a shipment of potatoes in this photo from the 1940s.
Port Celebrates
85th Anniversary
On May 16, 2021, the Port of Brownsville will commemorate its 85th anniversary.

The Brownsville Navigation District first opened operations in 1936 to the jubilation of thousands who traveled to the newly constructed 17-mile long Brownsville Ship Channel in optimistic celebration of port’s potential for the Rio Grande Valley region.

Italian businessman Louis Cobolini envisioned an international seaport that would sustain businesses, welcome new opportunities and propel the region’s economy.

In 1910, as secretary of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, Cobolini championed the plan of a deepwater port for Brownsville. He insisted upon a major port and channel facility capable of handling ships drawing thirty feet of water. 

Located on the southernmost tip of Texas and near neighboring Mexico, the Port of Brownsville is the only deepwater seaport directly on the U.S.-Mexico border.
In the early years, agricultural exports brought citrus fruits from local groves and shipped Texas cotton across the ocean seas.

Eighty-five years later, the port has established itself as a dynamic center for intermodal transportation and industrial development. It is home to the only major Jones Act shipbuilding facility in Texas, Keppel AmFELS. It is also the premiere port for U.S. ship recycling and U.S. Navy aircraft carrier dismantling program. Ranking among the top U.S. steel ports, the Port of Brownsville moves more steel into Mexico than any other domestic competitor.

Activity at the port supports $3 billion to the Texas economy, creating nearly 51,500 jobs statewide. Of those, 8,500 local jobs infuse more than $2 billion annually into the regional economy. These impacts distinguish the port as the Rio Grande Valley’s leading economic driver.
This Google Maps aerial photo shows the Carl "Joe" Gayman channel connecting the Bahia Grande with the Brownsville Ship Channel. This channel will be widened from its existing 34-foot width to 250 feet, providing much more natural tidal exchange and ecological growth in the Bahia Grande.
Tidal Channel Closed Until Fall For Restoration
The pilot channel connecting the Bahia Grande tidal basin and the Brownsville Ship Channel will undergo major enhancements to increase tidal exchange and restore the Bahia Grande as a major fish, wildlife and waterfowl nursery.

Access to the narrow waterway, also known as the Carl "Joe" Gayman channel, will be closed to the public beginning May 1, 2021, through early November when the project is expected to be completed.

The $5 million project is being implemented by the Texas General Land Office on behalf of the Deepwater Horizon Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) which includes Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Courtesy of Keppel AmFELS
A rendering of the wind-turbine-installation ship that
Keppel AmFELS will build for Dominion Energy.
America’s Offshore Wind–Powered Future Begins at the Port
Editor's Note: This article was originally featured at www.TexasMonthly.com. Click on the link to read the complete article.
Alongside the Brownsville Ship Channel, which shoots straight as a drill bit into the Gulf of Mexico, one of the biggest manufacturers of offshore oil rigs on the Gulf Coast turned 180 acres of dirt into a veritable gold mine.

The shipyard there is a maze of 43 buildings, including 7 hangar-size assembly sheds in which welders’ sparks fly, pneumatic hammers pop, and signs warn in bold letters that any misstep could maim. Into one end of the factory slides sheet after three-ton sheet of steel. Out the other end, like intricate toys from some gargantuan Santa’s workshop, roll some of the heaviest and most sophisticated pieces of energy-industry machinery in the world.
Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy
The U.S. Navy held a decommissioning ceremony for the the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) at Naval Base San Diego on April 14. 
Navy Decommissions
USS Bonhomme Richard
ISL Awarded Contract to Dismantle
The U.S. Navy held a decommissioning ceremony for the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) at Naval Base San Diego on April 14.

The ceremony highlighted the history of the ship, its crew, and their legacy. Bonhomme Richard was the third ship to bear the name. It was named in honor of John Paul Jones' famous frigate, named the French equivalent for "Good man Richard."

This was in honor of Benjamin Franklin, the U.S. Ambassador to France at the time. The name Bonhomme Richard is derived from Franklin's pen name.

"[The original Bonhomme Richard] Sailors gave their all to prevail against seemingly impossible odds, and they won," said Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 3. "They taught us that you don't always save the ship, but you never stop fighting. The reputation of that fighting spirit began to proceed our Navy wherever we sailed and that same spirit persists today."


Vice Chairman




Port Director & CEO

Contact Us:
Ph: 956.831.4592 / 800.378.5395
Fax: 956.831.5006
May 5
BND Board Meeting
Cinco De Mayo
May 9
Mother's Day
May 10
Mother's Day (Mexico)

May 16
Port of Brownsville 85th Anniversary

May 22
National Maritime Day 

May 29
BND Board Meeting
May 31
Memorial Day-Port Offices Closed
June 1
Hurricane Season Begins
June 2
BND Board Meeting
June 14
Flag Day
June 16
BND Board Meeting
June 19
June 20
First Day of Summer
Father’s Day
Texas Tops Best State For Business List
Editor's Note: This article was originally featured at www.chiefexecutive.net. Click on the link to read the complete article.
For the 17th year in a row, Texas has again been named the Best State for Business by the nation’s leading CEOs in an annual survey conducted by Chief Executive Magazine.

The rankings are determined by the CEO’s assessments of each state’s business climate, workforce, and quality of life. Texas has secured the top spot each year since the ranking’s inception.
A crowd gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of Lone Star National Bank's newest branch at the Port of Brownsville on April 22.
Lone Star Ntl. Bank to Open New Branch
Lone Star National Bank held a groundbreaking ceremony April 22, in honor of their fourth location in Brownsville.

The branch, located at 3100 N. Indiana Ave, will be located across from the Port of Brownsville Administrative Offices.

This location will provide convenient banking services to local businesses and the community.
BRG Awards Safe Shippers
Editor's Note: This article was originally featured at www.omniitrax.com. Click on the link to read the complete article.
Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway (BRG), a managed affiliate of OmniTRAX on April 14 presented a contribution to the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce at a ceremony honoring six local recipients of the inaugural OmniTRAX Safe Shipper Award.

The OmniTRAX Safe Shipper Award is presented to companies that modeled exemplary shipping safety by shipping or receiving loaded cars with no accidental releases during the previous year.

The 2020 OmniTRAX Safe Shipper Award recipients are ABC Gulf Coast Terminal, Bluewing, LLC, Maverick, LLC, Savage Services Corp, Trans Montaigne Partners LP and Valero Marketing.
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