Regional Overview

Everything presented here is presented with a future conversation in mind; information without dialogue is empty.  Our Team wants to give you every available tool to make the best decision possible about where to locate, to assist you in navigating the local and regional development processes, to expedite permitting processes for your project, and to provide guidance on where to turn for tricky entitlement issues.

Read on below to learn more about our region’s Proximity, Port, Infrastructure, and Utilities.  We are working hard to put together comprehensive economic data for you to use in making the case for building a successful project in our region.

We want to be your first phone call when you think about development in the Houston Port Region.

PROXIMITY

The Economic Alliance sits right in the heart of the Texas economy- the Houston Port Region.  We are home to one of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world, where one company’s waste is another company’s feedstock.  We pride ourselves in being an integral part of keeping that network as productive as possible.

We are twenty minutes from downtown Houston, fifteen minutes from the Port of Houston, and less than ten minutes from the Barbour’s Cut and Bayport terminals operated by the Port of Houston Authority.  In addition to our proximity to major import / export hubs, our region is rich with higher education and workforce training opportunities.  Click the icons on the map below for the names of some of our region’s assets.

Map Legend

Click the icons on the map below for  the name of the facility.

graduation-cap_013e7f_32   College

 plane_013e7f_32  Airport

  ship_013e7f_32 Port Facility

 truck_013e7f_32 Trucking Terminal

PORT

“These new electric Ship-To-Shore cranes can lift and lower a loaded container at twice the speed of the cranes currently in use at the Barbours Cut terminal. They weigh 1,505 tons, compared to 635 tons for the existing cranes. 

These cranes, the largest ever built by Konecranes, are 289 feet high with a lift height of 204 feet. They will handle ships 22 containers wide.”

Port Houston Press Release

Port Houston

Port

The Economic Alliance is home to and represents the Port of Houston in economic development efforts.  The Port of Houston is a 25-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities located just a few hours by ship from the Gulf of Mexico. The port is consistently ranked:

  • 1st in the United States in foreign waterborne tonnage;
  • 1st in U.S. imports;
  • 1st in U.S. export tonnage;
  • 2nd in the U.S. in total tonnage; and is
  • the nation’s leading breakbulk post, handling 65 percent of all major U.S. project cargo.

The Port of Houston is made up of the public terminals owned, managed and leased by Port Houston, and the 150-plus private industrial companies along the 52-mile long Houston Ship Channel. Each year, more than 200 million tons of cargo move through the Port of Houston, carried by more than 8,000 vessel and 200,000 barge calls.

As one of the world’s busiest ports, the Port of Houston is a large and vibrant component of the regional economy. A study by Martin Associates says ship channel-related businesses contribute 1,026,820 jobs throughout Texas. This activity helped generate more than $178.5 billion in statewide economic impact, up from nearly $118 billion. Additionally, more than $4.5 billion in state and local tax revenues are generated by business activities related to the port.

 

Port Terminal Railroad Association

The Port Terminal Railroad Association (PTRA) was formed in 1924 to provide access to the industries along the Houston Ship channel for all railroads entering Houston. Through mergers and acquisitions, the PTRA today is an Association of the Port of Houston Authority and three (3) Class I railroads:Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and TexMex/KCS.

The PTRA has a total Yard Capacity of 5,000 railcars.  On average, the PTRA spots and pulls 2,500 industry cars per day and has 10,000 cars spotted at industry at any given time.  Member lines have invested over $27 million in maintenance and expansion over the last 6 years.

PTRA straddles both sides of Houston ship channel and proudly:

  • Services 226 local customers from 7 serving yards.
  • Maintains 154 miles of track and 20 bridges.
  • Handles approximately 50,000 cars with an average of 975 engine starts per month.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Road

As of 2014, the Houston District of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has:

  • 5,856 Lane Miles
  • 10,521 Daily Vehicle Miles
  • 1,025 Construction/Maintenance Expenditures totaling $1.26 billion
  • Percentage of Highway Projects Completed On Time 79%

The following major projects are underway within the Houston District footprint:

  • US 290: reconstruction and widening from I-610 to FM 2920 – $1.8 billion (2017)
  • SH 99/Grand Parkway: design-build contract of Segments F1, F2 & G from US 290 to US 59 North – $1.1 billion (2015)
  • I-45 South: widening from Nyack to FM 2351 – $77 million (2015)
  • I-45 South: widening from El Dorado to Medical Center Drive – $93 million (2017)
  • US 59/I-69S: widening from FM 762 to Spur 10 – $135 million (2018)

The Economic Alliance Transportation Task Force is in the process of pursuing funding at the local, state, and federal levels for transportation projects directly affecting our footprint.  If you’d like to get involved in that effort, you may do so here.

Rail

Texas has 9,784 public highway and rail crossings and leads all other states in total rail route miles, with 10,384. In 2010, more than 8.8 million rail carloads traveled through the state- the second-largest volume in the nation.

Pipelines

Pipelines in Texas are regulated by the Texas Railroad Commission.  Many of our industry members conduct project-specific pipeline construction and others negotiate use of existing pipelines.  The right-of-way and pipeline construction process can be daunting, but we have the resources and referrals to help you navigate it efficiently and get your project moving.  For a map of existing pipelines, see the Texas Railroad Commission’s GIS viewer here.

 

UTILITIES

Water

Much of the water servicing the Houston Port Region comes from the Trinity River. The following municipal water entities supply industry with needed water resources:

Wastewater

Most companies locating in the Houston Port Region can take advantage of the waste water disposal services offered by Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority’s (GCWDA) Bayport or Washburn Tunnel facilities.

Created by the Texas Legislature in 1969, GCWDA is a non-tax supported unit of local government dedicated to waste management activities. GCA owns and operates four industrial wastewater treatment facilities that process liquid wastes from more than 80 petrochemical plants. Gulf Coast Authority focuses on providing reliable, cost-effective wastewater treatment and serving as a resource for continued economic development. Find out more about GCWDA here.

Electricity

CenterPoint Energy, a strong partner in economic development and the local distribution company, provides electric distribution services to the Houston Port Region. Deregulation is in effect in Texas and typical capacity available is 35 kV (35,000 volts), although some sites have access to 138 kV (138,000 volts). Companies can garner industrial and commercial rates from numerous retail providers. The Economic Alliance has energy brokers among our membership, and we are happy to provide a referral to your firm.

Natural Gas

CenterPoint Energy provides natural gas services to the Houston Port Region. By providing access to competitive natural gas suppliers, CenterPoint Energy enables customers to maximize the value of their natural gas consumption and Transportation Services suppliers to ship natural gas to qualified customers in Houston. For rate, tariff and other information, visit CenterPoint Energy’s Transportation section. Typical gas line size and pressure in Business Parks is four inches with 20 to 60 psi (high pressure).