[Tampa, FL] The State of Florida will spend $22.5 million to upgrade and modernize the petroleum facility at the Port of Tampa.
Gov. Rick Scott has directed the Florida Department of Transportation to invest $22.5 million in a new facility on the site, part of a 50/50 partnership between the state and the Port of Tampa with an overall price tag of $45-million.
The money will go toward two new petroleum “berths” and rehabbing the current petroleum terminal infrastructure.
“By prioritizing vital transportation projects, we can make Florida a better place for businesses to grow and expand and help get Floridians back to work,” said Scott. “This project will enhance Florida’s infrastructure and get our state ready for a new generation of international trade with the Caribbean, South America and beyond.”
The expansion – due to be completed in 2012 – will enable the Port of Tampa to handle five million more tons of petroleum products a year after. It is estimated that at least 641 construction jobs will be created right away, while 30-year figures show that approximately 8,200 jobs will be birthed – both directly and indirectly – because of the upgrades to the facility.
“You are talking about a very significant number of jobs,” Port Director & CEO Richard Wainio told Central Florida News 13. “But I would add the single most important thing the facility does is provide the energy that the economy needs to function.”
“So, indirectly, we support all the jobs in west coast. If you don’t get your fuel, the economy doesn’t function,” Wainio said.
An energy gateway for West and Central Florida, the 45-year-old petroleum unloading facilities at The Port of Tampa currently handle “over seven million tons of petroleum products a year,” according to the Governor’s office.
“The project will ensure the port will continue to meet the region’s need for gasoline, diesel and jet fuels,” says the Scott administration.
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Photo: Gov. Scott meets with local Tallahassee leadership (via Gov.’s Office)
Port of Tampa