updated 4/5/2011 8:17:49 PM ET 2011-04-06T00:17:49

HOUSTON, April 5, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority awarded a $33.2 million construction contract to Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc. for the Phase 3 entry and exit gate at the Bayport Terminal and authorized a $1.1 million amendment to the Port Authority's contract with Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. for Bayport Terminal, among several matters approved during the April 5 meeting.

In his monthly report, Chief Executive Officer Alec G. Dreyer noted that February was a tough month with significant fog-related impacts throughout the port, including 11 consecutive days when port activities were adversely affected by fog delays or were shut down entirely.

"Coming out of this lengthy fog slowdown, the Houston Pilots handled a record 95 vessels in one day, a testament to their commitment to keeping the Houston Ship Channel open for business," Dreyer said.

In spite of the fog conditions, steel had an excellent month in February, as the Port Authority handled more than 230,000 tons as compared to 125,000 tons in February 2010, an 84-percent increase. 

"Year to date, steel is up 740,000 tons or 69 percent over last year, giving us a nice boost going into the strong summer season," Dreyer said. "Turning Basin revenue for the first two months is up some 23 percent, which is directly related to the strong increase in steel."

TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) volumes were down 6 percent, but container tonnage was down only 2 percent in February versus last year. Dreyer also noted that year to date, TEU volumes are flat compared to last year, while container tonnage is up 2 percent overall.

Container volumes for March looked reasonably strong through the first three weeks of the month, and Dreyer predicted a return to a stronger growth mode by month's end.

Engineering & Real Estate

(Agenda H5) The Port Commission approved a $1.1 million amendment to the Port Authority's contract with Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. for Bayport Terminal Complex Phase I Program Management. The contract has been amended annually to provide for specific tasks scheduled for the upcoming year. Proposed Year Ten services will include design management for gate expansion, security and railroad signal projects. Also included will be construction management and inspection for security, multiple Bayport buildings and gate expansion contracts.

(Agenda H6) The Port Commission awarded a $33.2 million construction contract to Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc. for the Phase 3 entry and exit gate at the Bayport Terminal. The gate provides for permanent inbound and outbound lanes, support buildings, canopies and associated infrastructure to support operations through ultimate buildout of the container terminal. Satterfield & Pontikes' proposal was determined to offer the best value to the Port Authority of the six competitive sealed proposals received.

As a separate item, at its meeting today, the Board of Directors of the Port of Houston Authority International Corporation (POHAIC) agreed to terminate the 2010 Memorandum of Understanding between POHAIC and Libya and to dissolve POHAIC in its current form.

About the Port of Houston Authority

The Port of Houston Authority owns and operates the public facilities located along the Port of Houston, the 25-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities designed for handling general cargo, containers, grain and other dry bulk materials, project and heavy lift cargo, and other types of cargo. Each year, there are more than 7,700 vessel calls at the port, which ranks first in the U.S. in foreign waterborne tonnage and second in overall total tonnage. The port authority plays a vital role in ensuring navigational safety along the Houston Ship Channel, which has been instrumental in Houston's development as a center of international trade. The Barbours Cut Container Terminal and Central Maintenance Facility are the first of any U.S. port facilities to develop and implement an innovative Environmental Management System that meets the rigorous standards of ISO 14001. The second recertification of those facilities in 2009 included an extension for the state-of-the-art Bayport Container Terminal. The port authority is the first port authority in the world to receive ISO 28000:2007 certification for its port police and the perimeter security operations at both the Barbours Cut and Bayport Terminals. Additionally, the port is an approved delivery point for Coffee "C" futures contracts traded on the New York Board of Trade's Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange. For more information, please visit www.portofhouston.com

To access the port's Web site photo gallery, please visit http://www.portofhouston.com/publicrelations/publicrelations.html and click the link for Port Authority Photo Gallery.

The Port of Houston Authority logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=720

CONTACT: Lisa Ashley, Director, Corporate Communications
         Office: (713) 670-2644
         Cell: (832) 247-8179
         Email: lashley@poha.com

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