Port inks industrial development loan with State of Texas
The Port of Galveston and the State of Texas closed on a $28.1 million dollar infrastructure improvement loan through the Texas Industry Development Loan Program (TID), which provides long-term capital at below market rates for Texas strategic economic development projects. The loan funds will be used to revitalize and modernize the Port’s aging infrastructure and will be paid back over 17 years.
Port Director Steve Cernak stated, “The ongoing efforts by the Board of Trustees to diversify our sources of operating revenue has placed the Port in the position to be able to leverage this cash flow and enable the Port to make dramatic improvements that will translate into greater economic benefits to the Port, City of Galveston and the State of Texas.”
“As Texas competes in a truly global marketplace, improving our port infrastructure will increase our capacity for tourism and international trade,” said Gov. Rick Perry. “By taking advantage of this loan program, the Port of Galveston is showing their commitment to bringing new jobs and revenue to the state.”
The funded projects include deepening the Galveston Harbor Channel and modernizing channel front berths in order to accommodate larger oceangoing vessels. These improvements are vital if the Port of Galveston is to compete in today’s maritime environment and position the Port and Texas to take advantage of projected growth in the global economy.
The Port commissioned an independent economic impact analysis that determined when the improvements are completed; the Port and other port related businesses could realize over two thousand new jobs, resulting in $405 million additional revenue. This clearly demonstrates the importance of these improvements to the development of the Galveston-Houston region, and overall economic impact to the state that will be realized as a result of this loan.
The Port of Galveston is Texas’ gateway for cruise sailings and international trade. Located at the entrance to Galveston Bay, the Port leases and maintains facilities situated on the north side of Galveston Island and on adjacent Pelican Island. The Galveston Island operations are a diversified mix of traditional and non- traditional cargo operations including roll on-roll-off cargo, dry bulk, export grain, refrigerated fruit, general cargo, and project cargo. In addition, the Port handles over 1 million cruise passengers annually. During 2006 and 2007 the Port of Galveston was the 4th busiest cruise port in the United States and 11th in the world.