The Port of Brownsville, a Gulf of Mexico seaport located at the southernmost tip of Texas, set a record recently when it received the m/v Nordic Pollux, the largest vessel to ever call on the port to date.
The crude oil tanker, which weighs in at 150,103 deadweight tons (dwt), has a length of 274.2 meters (almost 900 feet) and a breadth of 48 meters (157 feet). It was built in 2003 and flies under the flag of the Cayman Islands.
The tanker made its way from Philadelphia to Brownsville on Jan. 31, where it loaded about 150,000 barrels of heavy naphtha, a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture, the port confirmed earlier this week.
“The growing trend of larger ships in the international maritime fleet is influencing big changes in shipping industry infrastructure, like the recent expansion of the Panama Canal and enhanced port infrastructure around the world – including improvements at the Port of Brownsville,” the port explained in a statement.
As part of the trend, the port has begun building bigger and deeper berths and plans to deepen its ship channel to 52 feet from the current design 42 feet, which upon completion, would rank Brownsville among the deepest ports in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Completion of the port’s channel deepening project allows it to accommodate deeper draft cargo ships, making visits by ships like the Nordic Pollux a more common sight,” the port said. “Bigger ships not only mean more cargo, it means more jobs to move cargo on and off the giant vessels.”
Brownsville says that its channel deepening project, which received congressional authorization in late 2016, is currently in the permitting stage.
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