Serving a diverse range of interests – from handling containers to moving bulk commodities and project cargos to supporting the offshore energy sector – ports of the Gulf Coast of Florida are advancing equally varied undertakings to meet current and future needs.
Starting in West Central Florida, near the entrance to Tampa Bay and looking northward, then west along the Panhandle, here is the latest at ports of the Sunshine State’s Gulf Coast:
An expanded south gate complex, dedicated in December, is among recently completed infrastructure projects at Port Manatee, the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the Panama Canal. The gate’s wider entry and exit lanes facilitate smooth truck movement of oversized project cargos, such as massive liquefied natural gas heat exchangers manufactured at the Air Products Port Manatee facility across U.S. 41 from the port.
Fuel operations at Port Manatee also are in expansion mode. TransMontaigne Partners L.P. is looking to bring an 80,000-barrel tank back online by midyear, to lift its total active capacity at the port to 1.5 million barrels, as the firm extends its light oil contract. The increased capacity should help RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. further grow its volumes through the port.
And Port Manatee has extended its agreement with longtime tenant Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. through August 2021, with a series of options that could keep that company’s pineapples and bananas coming into the port until at least 2036.
Port Tampa Bay
Excitement at Port Tampa Bay surrounds the newly adopted Vision 2030 master plan, delineating strategic investments estimated at $1.4 billion over the next 15 to 20 years.
Plans include $357 million of berth and upland developments, expanded refrigerated cargo facilities, additional gantry cranes and yard expansion at Hooker’s Point, where Ports America has agreed to continue container terminal operations through 2046. The container terminal got a pair of post-Panamax container cranes last year, affording ability to work containerships with capacity of as many as 9,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units, and a 134,000-square-foot cold storage warehouse is scheduled to open this summer.
In December, Port Tampa Bay solidified its commitment to continued development of its 270-acre Port Redwing/East Bay properties in southern Hillsborough County with approval of an amended lease agreement for a 5-acre site with Gulf Coast Bulk Equipment Inc., reassigned to partner Logistec Gulf Coast LLC, as well as award of a contract for $14.5 million construction of a second Port Redwing berth…
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