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Moda Midstream Expansion in Ingleside

Corpus Christi Caller Times

Published Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rachel Denny Clow, Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Moda Ingleside Energy Center has done upgrades to enable loading of more crude oil to ships. It is located at the former Naval Station Ingleside. 

INGLESIDE — Naval Station Ingleside's closure several years ago was a dark chapter in the Coastal Bend's history.

But the base's bones and infrastructure are being used as the foundation for a new, brighter chapter, according to representatives with liquids terminal and logistics company Moda Midstream.

The company is in the process of investing $300 million to $500 million to make its new Moda Ingleside Energy Center a "key energy hub" for crude oil by accommodating Very Large Crude Carriers.

 VLCCs are about 1,100 feet long — roughly the length of three football fields — and 200 feet wide, and can carry up to 2 million barrels of crude oil. The company held a commissioning of one of its berths on Friday, which is designed to accommodate the loading of VLCCs at the Ingleside facility.

More: Occidental Petroleum sells Ingleside Energy Center to Moda Midstream

More: Massive tanker's arrival in South Texas makes history

"This class of vessel, historically, does not traverse the inner ports of the U.S. Gulf Coast, but Ingleside is very special, and with the modifications that we've made to our facility, we're honored to continue the legacy of bringing in big ships," said Moda Midstream CEO and founding partner Bo McCall. "If I may say — Coastal Bend, your ship truly has come in."

McCall said Moda's existing storage capacity at its Ingleside terminal is about 2.1 million barrels, with work underway to construct an additional 10 million barrels of storage through additional tanks. The company already receives oil from the Cactus I pipeline used to transport sweet crude from the Permian Basin, McCall said.

More: EPIC will convert NGL pipeline to deliver crude between Corpus Christi, Permian Basin

Future expansion at Moda's Ingleside facility will allow from "basin to berth" deliveries of crude from the Cactus II Pipeline, Gray Oak Pipeline and EPIC Crude Oil Pipeline, he added. Moda representatives are also hopeful the port's ongoing ship channel expansion project, which will deepen the channel to 54 feet from 47 feet, will provide its customers with reduced loading costs.

That's because a deeper channel will allow a VLCC to be loaded with more oil at the terminal, with the rest ferried out into the Gulf of Mexico in a process known as "lightering." The 54-foot channel depth would allow for full loading of smaller, but still substantially-sized, vessels in the Suezmax class — they can carry up to 1 million barrels of crude oil.

The 54-foot depth will not allow for full loading of VLCCs, but it will allow more to be loaded initially in the terminal, thereby reducing lightering costs. The Port of Corpus Christi is the nation's largest exporter of crude oil, and fourth-largest in total tonnage.

More: Here's how much the Port of Corpus Christi got for its channel expansion

"The (port) commission and our staff is doing everything that we can within our power in order to secure the necessary infrastructure to continue to hold this mantle," Port Commission Chair Charlie Zahn said. "As global demand for U.S. crude continues to increase, Port Corpus Christi remains as the front-runner in supplying the export market."

McCall said that the Ingleside facility has been a perfect fit for the company and its goals, particular since it was designed to accommodate large military ships and with its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. The Moda Ingleside Energy Center sits on more than 900 acres of land that will allow for future expansion.

San Patricio County Judge David Krebs said that as a resident and elected official of the area, he was happy to see the shuttered military installation being turned into something that will provide jobs and economic growth.

"Thank you for stepping in to make this facility possible here, because this is a phenomenal facility," said San Patricio County Judge David Krebs. "This is going to be something that this county and this Coastal Bend region can be proud of for years and years in the

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