Texas Border Business
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $14,504,850 to the Port of Brownsville through a Port Infrastructure Development Grant. The awarded funds will support the expansion and upgrade of a grain and bulk handling facility and ship-loading capacity.
In 2016, WestPlains LLC refurbished the grain elevator at the Port of Brownsville, where it stores millions of bushels of grain. This project will consist of fixed landside, rail and road improvements, as well as related planning and other development activities. Once completed, the project will improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of goods. With these upgrades, the port can once again be a major exporter of agriculture commodities worldwide.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the Port of Brownsville over $14 million to support a project which will provide an efficient and safe export outlet for South Texas farmers,” said Congressman Filemon Vela. “The Port of Brownsville is a major exporter of steel, aluminum and wind energy products in South Texas, and I look forward to seeing how the port will benefit from this grant to restore its business in agriculture.”
“This grant demonstrates the federal government’s confidence in the Port of Brownsville and its role as the economic engine for the Rio Grande Valley,” said Brownsville Navigation District Chairman John Reed. “We are thankful for Congressman Vela’s guidance and support. His efforts were instrumental in accomplishing our goal to provide Texas farmers a direct access to worldwide markets.”
“This is an incredible collaborative effort headed by Congressman Vela’s office, with support from both of our state senators, as well,” said Texas Sorghum Producers Executive Director Wayne Cleveland. “This will be a game-changer for sorghum growers not only in Texas but for the rest of the states as you very seldomly get the opportunity to increase capacity for infrastructure. Along with National Sorghum Producers, we are grateful for Congressman Vela’s support and look forward to the opportunity this grant creates for sorghum farmers through the Port of Brownsville.”
“WestPlains is very excited and grateful for receiving the port infrastructure grant from MARAD,” said Amit Bhandari, Chairman & CEO of WestPlains. “We have a lot of demand from our customers to export sorghum, wheat, animal feed ingredients, and other commodities. Even during COVID-19 times, making the best of our current facility’s limitations, we’ve already sold five ships full of U.S. grains for export. When we complete the buildout of the new loading infrastructure, we’ll be growing this business many-fold, which will result in more jobs in Brownsville and a more competitive export channel for Texas farmers.”