Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hueneme Port Receives Development Grant

By Mark Edward Nero

The Oxnard Harbor District, which operates the Port of Hueneme, was awarded a grant of nearly $1.5 million by the US Economic Development Administration on Aug. 24, which the port says it plans to use to make wharf and berth improvements.

The grant provides funding to prepare for the deepening at the port as well as improvements to the pier and wharf, which would provide access to larger capacity vessels.

“This funding sets the stage for us to modernize our dockside infrastructure, a capital project needed to advance our Harbor deepening project,” port Executive Director and CEO Kristin Decas explained. “We appreciate the support of the US Economic Development Administration team for providing us with funding to enable the port to keep pace with the dynamic changes in the maritime industry.”

According to the Department of Commerce, the project will assist the port with the export initiatives set forth under the Obama Administration’s National Export and Look South initiatives to remove barriers to trade and help companies do business with Mexico, respectively.

The Port of Hueneme is a hub for import and export for a variety of cargo including automobiles, tractors and heavy machinery, fresh fruit and produce, liquid fertilizer and squid.

The EDA, an agency within the US Department of Commerce, makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. The port estimates the funding will create 127 new jobs and save more than 3,000 existing ones.

“It will increase our capability to improve and maximize our port’s infrastructure which will expand our operational effectiveness, create well-paying jobs and keep us competitive in the global economy,” Port Commission President Jess Herrera said of the grant.