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 Port Updates

 Daily Port Update

Date:Wednesday, September 15, 2021


PILOT/TRAFFIC ADVISORIES                                                                                

Sabine Pilots advise pilot service was suspended 1845/13th due to high winds/seas offshore and remains suspended at this time.

Below information provided courtesy of WGMA.

<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">The Vessel Traffic Service of US Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Port Arthur held a Port Coordination Team (PCT) conference call at 1100/14th regarding the weather conditions due to Tropical Storm Nicholas. Your Maritime Affairs team participated on the call and report the following: <span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">


<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">Captain Wyke, Commanding Officer of MSU Port Arthur, opened the call, welcoming everyone and thanking the participants. She also requested everyone to provide current impacts to their operations, if any. <span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">


<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">The Captain of the Port set Port Condition YANKEE at 12PM on Monday September 13th for the ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange, and Sabine. The ports of Lake Charles and Cameron remain under Port Condition X-RAY. Please refer to Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 19-21 <span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">for complete details. There is no expectation to update these Port Conditions today. A reminder that any cargo operations are dependent upon windspeeds.<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">


National Weather Service<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C"> reported the latest on the storm:<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">

<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">Hurricane Nicholas made landfall at 12:30AM Tuesday on the eastern part of Matagorda Peninsula, about 10 miles west of Sargent. It had maximum winds of 75 mph at landfall. The storm will continue to weaken as it moves along. Radar is showing considerable rainfall amounts, and that will continue throughout the day. So far, there’s been approximate rainfall accumulations of 3-6 inches, with another 5-10 inches expected. Storm surge will result in minor coastal flooding and Neches River flooding should be concentrated at the coast and not upriver. The winds should begin to taper off later tonight. Seas will gradually diminish overnight as well.<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">


From National Hurricane Center:<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">

<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">At 10AM CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located near latitude 29.6 North, longitude 95.3 West, or about 10 miles southeast of Houston. Nicholas is moving toward the northeast near 6 mph and this general motion should continue today. The storm should move more slowly toward the east-northeast by tonight, and then turn eastward on Wednesday over Louisiana. Little motion is anticipated on Thursday. NOAA Doppler weather radar and surface observations indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 45 mph with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast during the next couple of days as Nicholas moves farther inland, and the storm is forecast to become a tropical depression by tonight. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles, mainly over water to the southeast of the center. An observing station at Texas Point in Sabine Pass recently measured a 1-minute sustained wind of 40 mph and a gust to 51 mph.<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">


·     Satellite Loop

·     Forecast Cone for Storm Center

·     Tropical-Storm-Force Wind Speed Probabilities

·     US Rainfall Potential


Watches & Warnings:<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">

·     <span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Port Bolivar to Sabine Pass including Galveston Bay.

·     <span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for High Island to Cameron.

·     <span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Sabine Pass to Cameron.

·     <span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">The Tropical Storm Warning has been discontinued west of High Island.

·     <span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">The Storm Surge Warning has been discontinued south of Port Bolivar.

·     <span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">The Storm Surge Watch has been discontinued east of Cameron.


Local maritime industry representatives reported their status. There were no emergent situations reported.<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">


<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">The Sabine Pilots suspended all vessel activities offshore at 1845 hours on Monday September 13th. Currently they show 17 vessels in port, with 10 presently ready for departure, plus 5 waiting to come inbound, and the list for both departures and arrivals is growing. Winds of 30-40 knots and 12 feet seas are being reported by various pilot boats along the coast. Ships that were waiting to inbound have all heaved anchor and moved further offshore to ride the storm. Their current plan is to proceed with outbound vessels tomorrow once weather permits, but first they will need to get their pilot boat out at first light to observe conditions. Any terminals having emergent situations should contact the pilots ASAP and they will try to accommodate as best as they can.<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:black">


<span-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Verdana",sans-serif;color:#00008C">MSU Port Arthur will conduct a Port Coordination Team conference call at 1100 hours tomorrow, Wednesday, September 15.



Sabine pilots advise the air draft restriction at the MLK Bridge is currently 136’.


COVID-19 Corona Virus Information

Presidential Proclamations have placed entry restrictions from persons arriving from or through the following countries: Iran, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), the European states within the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland), and beginning at 11:59 p.m. eastern standard daylight savings time on March 16, 2020, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.




Notice of Implementation | May 1, 2021

The Sabine-Neches Navigation District (SNND) exercises jurisdiction over all vessels using the Sabine Neches Waterway (waterway).  As the non-federal sponsor for the Sabine Neches Waterway Channel Improvement Project (project), SNND is authorized by 33 USC §2236 to levy fees to finance the non-Federal share of costs of the project.
Subject to SNND Board authorization, it is anticipated that as of May 1, 2021, all vessels carrying cargo on the waterway whose design draft exceeds 20 feet will be subject to paying a user fee, the applicability of which is defined in the Federal Register notice published on January 28, 2021, which is  available in:
In the event of any discrepancy between the content to this notice and the content of the January 28, 2021, Federal Register notice, the Federal Register notice shall control.
The User Fee Ordinance establishes an initial fee rate of $0.20 per short ton for hydrocarbon cargo, and $0.02 per short ton for non-hydrocarbon cargo.  For the purposes of the user fee, hydrocarbon is defined as oil, gas, ethanol, methanol, a commodity or product made or manufactured – in whole or part – from oil or gas, and derivatives or byproducts or fractions of oil or gas all regardless of their physical form and including mixtures of any or all of the above.  The fee rate will be reviewed by SNND at 12-month intervals and can be adjusted to a maximum fee rate of $0.35 per short ton for hydrocarbon cargo, and $0.035 per short ton for non-hydrocarbon cargo.
The user fee does not apply to:

 1.  vessels owned, chartered, or operated by the United States government, a foreign country, a state, or a political subdivision of a country or state, unless engaged in commercial services;
 2.  vessels engaged in towing, dredging or channel maintenance activities;
 3.  vessels engaged in intra-port movements; or
 4.  vessels with design drafts of 20 feet or less.
The vessel and cargo owner are jointly responsible for the payment of user fees, which are due and payable upon the 15th of the month following the month in which the vessel and cargo used the waterway.
The User Fee will be assessed as a tonnage fee on cargo loaded or discharged through a terminal, as follows:

User Fees
Hydrocarbon Cargo:
*   The Initial User Fee on hydrocarbon cargo is $0.20 per short ton; Maximum User Fee is $0.35 per short ton.

Non-Hydrocarbon Cargo:
*   The Initial User Fee on nonhydrocarbon cargo is $0.02 per short ton; Maximum User Fee is $0.035 per short ton.

Provision of Records
Terminal operators having custody of any cargo to be loaded on board a vessel while the vessel is on the Waterway shall, within forty-eight hours before departure of that vessel, deliver to the appropriate appointed authorized representative an export declaration specifying the cargo to be loaded on board each such vessel.

Upon the arrival of a vessel on the Waterway, which the vessel may be subject to the levy of port or harbor dues under this Ordinance, the master of that vessel shall, within forty-eight hours after arrival and before any cargo is unloaded from that vessel, deliver to the appropriate appointed authorized representative a tonnage certificate for the vessel and a manifest of the cargo aboard that vessel or, if the vessel is in ballast, a declaration to that effect. The Navigation District may enter into memoranda of understanding with terminal operators or others individually or collectively to facilitate the efficacious provision of records and to modify these requirements as deemed appropriate by the Navigation District.

Responsibility for Payment of User Fee
The vessel and owner of the cargo are each jointly responsible for payment of the entire User Fee to a representative authorized and designated by the Navigation District. Subject to procedures memorialized in memoranda of understanding, if applicable, invoices for payment of the User Fee will be delivered to vessels and cargo owners from whom User Fees are due or delivered to their respective agents. Those invoices will contain payment instructions. The Navigation District will not make any duplicate collection of the User Fee.

Finance Charge
All fees are due and payable upon the 15th of the month following the use of the Waterway. Any User Fee incurred, which is unpaid thirty (30) days from that date, shall be deemed to be delinquent. Any amount that is unpaid on or after thirty (30) days from the date due will be assessed an interest charge of twelve percent (12%) per annum of the amount of the fee due, and shall be due and owing from the date of delinquency until paid. Such interest charges shall be calculated on a per annum basis of three hundred sixty-five (365) days.


2021 Channel Closures:
Jan 01st – 1000  Pilot service resumed
Jan 06th – 2300  Pilot service suspended (high winds/seas)
Jan 07th – 0600  Pilot service resumed
Jan 10th – 1642  Pilot service suspended (high winds/seas)
Jan 11th – 1100  Pilot service resumed
Jan 20th – 0430  Pilot service suspended (fog)
Jan 21st – 0900  Pilot service resumed
Jan 21st – 2330  Pilot service suspended (fog)
Jan 23rd – 1000  Pilot service resumed
Jan 23rd – 1515  Pilot service suspended (fog)
Jan 25th –  0530  Pilot service resumed
Jan 25th – 0930  Pilot service suspended (fog)
Jan 26th – 0330  Pilot service resumed
Feb 09th – 0030  Pilot service suspended (fog)
Feb 11th – 0800  Pilot service resumed
Feb 14th -  1430  Pilot service suspended (winter weather)
Feb 17th – 1000  Pilot service resumed
Feb 17th – 1010  Pilot service suspended (winter weather
Feb 18th – 0700  Pilot service resumed
Feb 20th – 0500  Pilot service suspended (fog)
Feb 20th – 1100  Pilot service resumed
Feb 22nd – 0130  Pilot service suspended (fog)
Feb 22nd – 0800  Pilot service resumed
Feb 23rd – 0320  Pilot service suspended (fog)
Feb 23rd – 1030  Pilot service resumed
Feb 26th – 0130 Pilot service suspended (fog)
Feb 26th – 1430 Pilot service resumed
Feb 26th – 1900 Pilot service suspended (fog)
Mar 01st – 1530 Pilot service resumed
Mar 12th – 2320 Pilot service suspended (fog)
Mar 13th – 1200 Pilot service resumed
Mar 15th – 0130 Pilot service suspended (fog)
Mar 15th – 1300 Pilot service resumed
Mar 15th – 2100 Pilot service suspended (fog)
Mar 16th – 1130 Pilot service resumed
Mar 24th – 0001 Pilot service suspended (fog)
Mar 24th – 0600 Pilot service resumed
Mar 24th – 2357 Pilot service suspended (high winds/seas)
Mar 25th – 1100 Pilot service resumed
Mar 27th – 2330 Pilot service suspended (fog)
Mar 28th – 1030 Pilot service resumed
Mar 30th – 2000 Pilot service suspended (fog)
Mar 31st – 1200 Pilot service resumed
Apr 01st – 0145 Pilot service suspended (high winds/seas)
Apr 01st – 0930 Pilot service resumed
Apr 13th – 2045 Pilot service suspended (high winds/seas)
Apr 14th – 0730 Pilot service resumed
Apr 15th – 0200 Pilot service suspended (fog)
Apr 15th – 0600 Pilot service resumed
Apr 23rd – 0140 Pilot service suspended (high winds/seas)
Apr 23rd – 0900 Pilot service resumed
May 18th – 1105 Pilot service suspended at 29/30 (high winds/seas)
May 18th – 1245 Pilot service suspended at SB Buoy (high winds/seas)
May 19th – 1000 Pilot service resumed

General Channel Restrictions/Info

*   Max Safe Draft 40ft FW
*   Air Draft above Valero Terminal – Less than 136ft for passing 3 fixed bridges
*   800ft wide channel from 29/30 Buoy to Texaco Island
*   400ft wide channel from Texas Island to Port of Beaumont
*   “SB” Buoy is located at Lat. 29-25N Lon. 93-40W
*   Navigational Charts NOAA 11341, 11342 & 11343 cover the entire waterway
*   Sabine Pilots<<>>

Sabine Pilot Restrictions

*   Vessels 85,000 DWT or over, 875 FT LOA or over or 125FT beam or over will transit during daylight hours only above Texaco Island. Only one (1) of the limitations has to be met to restrict a vessel.
*   Daylight Restriction times are based on the daylight hours and are adjusted according to sun rise/sun set. Current times as follows, the terminals shown are the ones that handle Aframax size vessels which are typically daylight restricted.


ExxonMobil                        0500-1200 Hrs   Approx Transit time “SB” Buoy to Berth – 8hrs
Enterprise BMW               0500-1230 Hrs
Sun Terminal                      0500-1300 Hrs
Phillips 66                            0500-1300 Hrs
Motiva PN                           0500-1400 Hrs
Total                                      0500-1430 Hrs   Approx Transit time “SB” Buoy to Berth – 5.5hrs


ExxonMobil                        0600-1530 Hrs
Enterprise BMW               0600-1600 Hrs
Sun Terminal                      0600-1630 Hrs
Phillips 66                            0600-1630 Hrs
Motiva PN                           0600-1700 Hrs
Total                                      0600-1730 Hrs

*   Vessels with the combined beam of one-half the width of the channel will not meet/pass day or night.
*   Any vessel that meets or exceeds either or both 860FT LOA or 120FT beam will require two pilots.

Vessels that do not exceed the above size restrictions can transit day or night consistent with other port traffic movements. Vessels that are daylight restricted will generally have priority to move before non-daylight restricted vessels.


Notice posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2021

For quality assurance purposes please note well that while the above information is regularly vetted for accuracy it is not intended to replace the local knowledge or expertise pertaining to port conditions of our marine operations personnel. Port précis should always be verified by contacting the corresponding marine department of a particular location for the most up-to-date information.