The deal was contained in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) endorsed by both governing boards on April 23, 2007. The ultimate goal of the MoU, the ports say, is to benefit the region’s economy and create jobs.
Pelican Island is located on a 40 ft deep shipping channel directly across from the current facilities of the Port of Galveston and about 30 minutes’ sailing time from the open sea. The MoU calls for the ports to put together a joint action planning team to create a master development plan for a container facility on the island.
The two ports expect robust market demand in the next 10 to 15 years, particularly if the proposed Panama Canal expansion is completed on schedule in 2014. Approximately 12% of Houston’s cargo tonnage currently traverses the Canal, but the port authority projects that this share will grow to as much as 23%.