Leaders from the petrochemical, maritime, logistics and transportation industries delivered robust economic forecasts for the Houston Ship Channel region during the 5th annual Economic Alliance Houston Port Region Petrochemical & Maritime Outlook Conference held at the Pasadena Convention Center Thursday, September 4.
The Port of Houston Authority and the Panama Canal Authority gave presentations recognizing their growth as 100-year anniversaries are being celebrated for both the canal and the Houston Ship Channel.
Port of Houston Authority Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria outlined capital investments that will help the Port Authority meet demand of regional expansion.
Panama Canal Authority manager of market analysis and forecasting, Silvia deMarucci, addressed the status of the Panama Canal lock expansion, stating the project is back on schedule.
“It is an exciting time to be involved in international trade and business growth at the port. This year, we celebrate the fact that for a century the Houston Ship Channel has played a pivotal role in the economic health of our city and region,” said Chairman Longoria.
Todd Monette, chairman of East Harris County Manufacturers Association, provided an overview of national and global factors driving industry growth in the region.
A Greater Houston Port Bureau economic study projects that the region can expect more than USD 35 billion in plant expansion in the next several years.
This expansion will generate thousands of jobs, including as many as 100,000 skilled construction jobs during the next three to five years, according to industry sources.
In addition to the Port of Houston and petrochemical leaders announcing continued growth for the region, logistics and transportation leaders told conference attendees that they are seeing growth in product movement via marine, truck, rail and pipeline shipments. They also are seeing great demand for qualified workers to fill the jobs.