Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project Receives Additional Federal Funds to Complete Pre-Construction, Engineering, and Design Phase

The federally-authorized Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project (SNND) is set to receive $2,317,000 in federal funding to complete the pre-construction, engineering, and design (PED) phase to deepen the ship channel from its current depth of forty feet to forty-eight feet.

“We are truly grateful to President Trump and his administration for understanding the strategic importance of the Sabine-Neches Waterway,” said SNND Board Chairman Paul Beard. “The federal funds to complete the Pre-construction, engineering, and design phase represents a significant step in our efforts to deepen the Sabine-Neches Waterway and maximize the enormous benefits it provides to the nation.”

“Southeast Texas is the birthplace of the modern oil and gas industry and the frontier for American energy exports,” said Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick. “American energy dominance starts on our waterway and we embrace the opportunity to strengthen energy security here at home and for our allies around the world."

The Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project was federally authorized in the 2014 WRRDA bill and received funding to begin the PED phase in 2017. The Trump Administration is providing additional federal funds as part of the 2018 federal budget work plan.

“The Sabine-Neches Waterway is vitally important to our national security, energy dominance, and economic competitiveness,” stated Congressman Randy Weber. “I thank the President for recognizing the strategic significance of the Sabine-Neches. It is, without a doubt, one of our nation’s most critical hubs for energy exports and military activity.”

The Sabine-Neches Waterway is 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.

“I’d like to thank President Trump and the administration for prioritizing the Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project in the 2018 work plan,” Said Senator Ted Cruz. “By investing in the Sabine-Neches Waterway, we’re investing in our energy security and that of our allies around the world. The announcement is a meaningful step toward American energy dominance.”

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.

“With Hurricane Harvey’s devastation still fresh in our minds, and the next hurricane season upon us, the State of Texas is urgently focused on making our infrastructure more resilient for future storms,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “This funding is essential to those efforts and to help minimize the loss of human lives and damage to infrastructure and property. I thank the USACE [United States Army Corps of Engineers], Texas congressional delegation, and the Office of Management and Budget for recognizing the critical importance of these projects, and I look forward to their completion.”

Tropical Storm Harvey impacts on the Sabine-Neches Waterway included fourteen feet of shoaling in the most critical reaches of the ship channel for more than twenty-seven days. Draft restrictions imposed on waterway traffic due to extreme shoaling restricted the waterway’s ability to deliver energy products to the nation, export energy products to global markets, and efficiently deploy military cargoes to foreign theaters.