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Photo Release -- Port of Houston Authority Expects Banner Year

HOUSTON, Dec. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A banner year is expected for the Port of Houston Authority in 2014, with 34 million tons of cargo handled through November, Executive Director Roger Guenther reported to the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority at its monthly meeting Tuesday.

John Moseley, Sr. Director, PHA Trade Development; Ellen Goldberg, Indian Film Festival of Houston (IFFH) Board Member and Immediate Past President, Sister Cities of Houston; Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria; Sutapa Ghosh, Founder and Festival Director, IFFH; Atul Badwal, IFFH Board Member; and Port Commissioner John Kennedy


A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=29737

"Container volumes are on pace for a record year, and steel imports are set to surpass the previous tonnage highs set in 2008," Guenther said.

Cargo operations for November reflect a 15 percent increase in container TEUs and an 82 percent growth in steel imports, year over year, he said.

Cargo and real estate business activities have contributed to a solid 12 percent growth in revenues for the year. Total cash flow of $109 million reflects a 10 percent improvement over 2013.

The Port Commission awarded a $23.8 million contract to Trans-Global Solutions, Inc., to construct Container Yard 6 North at the Bayport Container Terminal. The terminal, which opened in 2007, is being built out in phases.

Port Commissioners also approved an order confirming the lease to Frontier Logistics L.P. of about 27.83 acres of non-contiguous unimproved rail-served real property near Barbours Cut Container Terminal. The lease will support an expected growth in resin exports.

Guenther also reported that all four of the ship-to-shore cranes the Port Commission authorized for construction have been erected and will be shipped to Barbours Cut in mid-February 2015, with arrival in April. Dredging of the federal portion of the Barbours Cut Channel is substantially complete, he observed. Dredging of the Bayport Channel began in November.

"We're ready for bigger things to come," Guenther stated.

Guenther announced that cruise operations are fully under way, with Princess Cruises returning in November for a second season. Combined, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, which began sailing in October, are efficiently moving about 12,000 passengers through the terminal facility each weekend.

Among appearances at Tuesday's meeting, County Judge John P. Thompson of Polk County highlighted the importance of the Alliance for I-69 Texas, which promotes development on Interstate 69 within the state of Texas. The Port Commission approved renewal in a professional membership to the Alliance for one year.

In addition, the Port Commission approved a Memorandum of Friendship and Trade Cooperation between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and the Port of Houston Authority.

During a Special Meeting of the Port Commission, immediately following the Board of Pilot Commissioners meeting, Mark Vincent, Channel Development Director, gave a presentation regarding a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' request for proposals for channel projects, studies and legislation, and the Corps' pending datum change affecting Texas ports. Vincent also talked about the proposed Corps feasibility study for Houston-area channels and other issues involving Texas Ports Association members.

Neil McLellan of HDR, Inc. gave a presentation on its survey of 31 channel users regarding interest in cooperative dredging activities. The Port Commission will continue to review options for dredging.

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

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

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

Source:Port of Houston Authority