PALMETTO, Florida - Port Manatee is the new marine fuel supply hub for Tampa Bay, with initiation of operations of Miami-based World Fuel Services.
“During such a significant time of growth for Port Manatee, we are highly enthusiastic about this new partnership with the world’s leading bunker supplier,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “We are confident that World Fuel Services’ successful operations will prove to be a perfect addition to Port Manatee’s steadily growing diverse marine portfolio.”World Fuel Services, which sells fuel in more than 200 nations and territories throughout the globe, has established its latest storage and supply operation for fuel oil and marine diesel at Port Manatee following a rigorous selection process.
“World Fuel Services continues to invest in selective physical supply locations,” said Joe Gowen, senior vice president for global marine supply at WFS. “When selecting locations for WFS, we carry out an intense risk assessment, ensuring we are able to deliver the highest standards of service.
“Valued relationships and collaboration are key,” Gowen added, “and we will continue to invest where we can work with port authorities, first-class barge companies and our customers.”
WFS looks to meet fuel bunkering needs for cruise and cargo vessels throughout Tampa Bay by means of two dual-capacity tug-and-barge units, in partnership with The Vane Brothers Co., a Baltimore-based firm that has served the marine industry since 1898.
Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, commented, “The WFS operation means a further increase in liquid bulk cargo for Port Manatee, which translates into greater revenue for the port while adding to jobs and other favorable economic impacts for our community.”
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.