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MOU Signing Between Houston and Antwerp Ports Set

HOUSTON, Sept. 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A Memorandum of Understanding is scheduled to be signed by the Port of Houston Authority and the Port of Antwerp Monday, September 29, in conjunction with the kickoff of the 2014 Breakbulk Americas Conference.

The signing will take place at 2 p.m. in the fourth floor boardroom of the Port Authority Executive Building, 111 East Loop North (Exit 29 off Loop 610) in Houston.

While the Port of Houston is the largest breakbulk port in the United States, Antwerp operates the largest breakbulk terminal in Europe. The ports also are significant economic engines for their respective regions.

Under terms of the memorandum, the ports will exchange information ranging from customs to business development and each will commit to hosting a commercial event in alternating years.

The Port of Houston Authority is the host for the Breakbulk Americas conference, which is being held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. The conference is the largest gathering of breakbulk executives in the United States. In 2012, the last time it was held in Houston, the conference welcomed a total of 4,245 attendees.

The Port of Houston Authority has recorded near-record levels of steel moving across its docks this year. Steel, which is one type of breakbulk cargo, is up 39 percent year to date, at 4.3 million tons. The highest tonnage in steel (844,000 tons) since 2008 moved across PHA docks in July.

Additionally, the Port of Houston Authority's ability to handle the largest often most challenging cargo is expanding. That's because of the acquisition of a new crane at the Turning Basin Terminal that can handle up to 800 tons. In place at Dock 32, the crane comes from Barnhart, which specializes in heavy lifting and transport. Barnhart will permanently deploy the crane at the dock, and it will occupy its own three-acre pad in the 32A yard. This crane will be available for rent to perform heavy lifts.

About the Port of Houston Authority

For nearly 100 years, the Port of Houston Authority has owned or operated the public cargo-handling facilities of the Port of Houston – the nation's largest port for foreign waterborne tonnage. The port is an economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the nation. It supports the creation of more than one million statewide jobs and more than 2.1 million nationwide jobs, and the generation of economic activity totaling more than $178.5 billion in Texas and $499 billion across the nation. For more information, visit the Port Authority website at: www.portofhouston.com.

The Port of Houston Authority logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=719

CONTACT: Bill Hensel, Manager, Corporate Communications Office: (713) 670-2893 Cell: (832) 452-5776 E-mail: bhensel@poha.com

Source:Port of Houston Authority