The Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Company (HFOTCO) is to expand its complex in the Houston Ship Channel, constructing a further 2.7 million barrels of residual fuel storage and building a new ship dock.
A further 1.5 million barrels are to be added to the current 13.3 million barrels already situated at the terminal and will be in operation by September. There are also another 2.7 million barrels to be commissioned throughout this year and next.
HFOTCO anticipates the dock to be built by May, allowing the company to work with a further 180 ships a year.
Also to be developed is another 20-spot railcar rack facility and a new substation. The company says these improvements will help to ‘strengthen the business’ service reliability’.
The company’s plans come after the closure of a round of funding raised by energy investment firm ArcLight Capital Partners.
ArcLight’s managing partner Dan Revers says HFOTCO’s customers have committed to long-term leases on tank capacity and the company believes it will grow because new customers are often asking about storage availability.
‘We are committed to expanding the HFOTCO facilities and view these new shipping and barge handling capabilities as a core component to increasing terminal efficiency and providing superior service to our customers,’ he says.
‘We recognise the increasing demand for petroleum product handling capacity in the Houston Ship Channel and will continue to invest in and look for innovative ways to meet the demand in this market.’
HFOTCO was recently given $120 million (€89 million) of Hurricane Ike bonds issued by the State of Texas, which is further helping it to fund development plans.