Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project receives Federal-Share Funding to start construction

Published 2:29 pm Saturday, December 22, 2018

To The Leader


The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is set to receive $18,000,000 in federal funding for the Fiscal Year 2019 to begin the “New Start” construction phase of the federally-authorized Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project.

The New Start designation along with the federal-share funding for the project kick off the construction phase and partnership agreement between the USACE and the Sabine-Neches Navigation District (SNND) to begin the process of deepening the Sabine-Neches Waterway from forty feet to forty-eight feet, ensuring that waterborne commerce can utilize a deeper ship channel.

The United States Congress is allocating the funds as part of the USACE Fiscal Year 2019 Work Plan following the passage of the first Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 by the United States Congress on September 21.

“Let’s dig it!” said SNND Board Chairman Paul Beard. “We are deeply appreciative of the Trump Administration, our congressional leaders, and partners at the Corps for recognizing the strategic importance of the Sabine-Neches Waterway to the nation by allocating their share of these initial funds to begin construction of the deepening project. I would commend SNND General Manager Randall Reese for his steadfast leadership, district staff for their dedication, and the Board of Commissioners for their unwavering support of the project.”

“The Sabine-Neches Waterway is one of the most critical energy and military transit assets in our country. While most Americans may not yet have heard of us, we deliver for them every day,” said Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick. “I applaud the Trump administration for prioritizing Jefferson County and the ship channel that produces and delivers energy resources to the nation and our allies abroad. ”

The Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project was federally authorized under the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. Earlier this year, the Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project and its federal partner the

USACE received funds to complete the planning, engineering, and design (PED) phase of the channel improvement project.

“The Sabine-Neches waterway is a significant economic driver for Texas and the nation, and this project will generate thousands of jobs and billions in new economic activity,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “I am grateful for this important investment that will ensure Texas remains the energy and economic engine of America.”

“Southeast Texans have been working to deepen the Sabine-Neches Waterway for more than 20 years,” Congressman Randy Weber said. “I am grateful to have worked closely with the Trump Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Sabine- Neches Navigation District to accomplish this historic achievement. This decision proves that the nation values all that Jefferson County does for it.”

The Sabine-Neches Waterway is currently the nation’s largest exporter of crude oil, liquefied natural gas, and petroleum coke. Home to the nation’s third-largest refining complex, proposed expansions to increase refining capacity at existing operations would make it the largest in the United States.

“Texas leads the way in the American energy renaissance and deepening the Sabine- Neches Waterway will help grow our economy and create jobs, all while promoting energy dominance,” said Senator Ted Cruz. “Not only does this project strengthen energy security here at home, but it brings energy security to our allies around the world.”

“The rapid deployment of military equipment and cargoes from the Sabine-Neches Waterway and its two commercial strategic seaports – Beaumont and Port Arthur – is critically important to our national security,” said Congressman Brian Babin. “This project represents a major commitment to increasing the safety, efficiency, and coordination of military cargoes that support and safeguard our brave men and women at installations and in theaters around the world. I appreciate President Trump making this investment to strengthen our military readiness.

“When the Texas Delegation comes together, we accomplish big things,” Babin continued. “I especially appreciate my Texas colleagues Roger Williams and John Carter for their help all the way from Fort Hood. We will continue working together to make investments in the critical infrastructure, from Forts to Ports, necessary to support our military.”

In 2017, the Sabine-Neches Waterway accounted for more than $20 billion in exports and produced a balance of trade surplus of about $9 billion. The waterway is expected to increase its annual exports to more than $73 billion by 2026 with a projected balance of trade surplus of about $62 billion.