Make us your home page
Instagram

Credit squeeze kills plan for $70M fuel storage farm at Port of Tampa

A private petroleum company's plans for a $70 million fuel tank farm at Tampa's port are dead, the victim of tight lending markets.

The Tampa Port Authority agreed in September to lease 43 acres to an affiliate of International Oil Trading of Boca Raton to build a facility with 15 to 20 huge tanks and a combined capacity of 1.1-million barrels.

But International Oil Trading put all pending projects on hold that month as lending froze up in response to the collapse of financial giant Lehman Brothers, said Harry Sergeant III, the company's owner.

"Access to capital went from difficult to impossible, even for investment-grade public companies,'' he said Friday. "It was like a garage door slamming shut, and there was no opening it.'' His company never signed the 40-year lease and told port director Richard Wainio last month the deal was off.

Virtually all of Florida's gasoline, diesel and jet fuel enters the state through ports in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville. There's too little storage capacity, said Sargeant, as evidenced by short supplies when shipping was interrupted during the hurricanes of 2005.

International Oil Trading was lining up oil companies such as Brazil's semi-public Petrobras to deliver fuel to Tampa and market it in Florida, said Sargeant. His company also planned to blend ethanol with gasoline at the site and feed jet fuel into a pipeline to Orlando.

Wainio hopes to resume talks with other firms that had expressed interest in the site. The port authority received $198,000 rent for October through February, he said.

Separately, developers want up to a year to buy 3.5 acres next to the Channelside complex for 250 low-rise apartments and neighborhood retail. Their current deal with the port authority sets a March 31 deadline to close on the land.

The group hasn't secured financing because of economic conditions and tight credit markets, states a memo to port commissioners. They are scheduled to vote on the request Thursday.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

Credit squeeze kills plan for $70M fuel storage farm at Port of Tampa 02/13/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul

    Markets

    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall

    Business

    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages

    Business

    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel

    Business

    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.