January 27 - The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has approved an air permit for the proposed Las Brisas Energy project.

The next step in the development of this project, which could see significant shipments of heavy and OOG cargoes throught the port, is to apply for a Green House gas permit with the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Construction on the Las Brisas plant could start as early as this Autum if the Green House gas permit is approved as planned and will take three to four years for completion. The plant is scheduled to be fully operational by 2014. "We are cautiously optimistic about the realisation of the project. We look forward to the next step down the road towards the realisation of the Las Brisas project," said John LaRue, executive director.

The Las Brisas Energy Center project is a 1,320 gross megawatt electric-generating facility to be located on the north side of Port Corpus Christi's Inner Harbour. This project will provide much-needed, low-cost, reliable electric power for users throughout Corpus Christi and South Texas at competitive prices. The plant will be a state-of-the-art facility utilising highly sophisticated equipment (such as a circulating fluidised bed system) to generate clean energy and protect the region's environment. The project's economic and job benefits will provide tremendous returns for the community and will positively impact the city, the region, and every citizen in the Coastal Bend area.

The realization of the Las Brisas Energy Center project will allow Port Corpus Christi to extend its Bulk Terminal, a long-needed expansion. In addition, the project represents an excellent new source of revenue for the Port and is one of the projects that has benefited from the construction of the Joe Fulton International Trade Corridor.