The Port of Houston Authority must now look for alternative financing options, as its bonds will not stretch to cover its capital investment plan. The port will run out of financing before the end of 2013 if new sources of funding are not found, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The port’s bonds, which are backed Harris Country property taxes, leave a shortfall of about $1.2 billion that the port must find from elsewhere. Alternative financing options could include bonds, bank lines of credit and equipment financing.
Projects planned for 2012 will be covered by existing funds, due to good performance rates, which are largely as a result of steel imports, the port authority told the Houston Chronicle. However, without increased financing, the port will not be able to complete all its planned developments before the 2014 expansion of the Panama Canal.
One project required for the Panama Canal expansion is the dredging of the Houston Ship Channel; in order to accommodate the larger ships that will be brought in as a result of the Panama Canal expansion, Houston needs to maintain and deepen its dredges.