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. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Government

    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]
  2. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports

    Airlines

    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]
  3. Gov. Scott backs off boycott of companies doing business in Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will ask the Florida Cabinet next month to prohibit the state's investment managers from doing something they already do not do: invest in companies or securities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miami. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  4. Superior Uniform Group reports $65.6 million in sales for second quarter

    Corporate

    SEMINOLE — Superior Uniform Group Inc. reported sales of $65.6 million in net sales for the second quarter, up a percentage point from the same quarter last year, the Seminole-based company reported Thursday.

    Superior Uniform Group Inc. saw a sales increase for the second quarter, the company reported Thursday. Pictured is Michael Benstock, CEO. | [Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  5. Air bag inflator ruptures, driver killed in Pasco County

    Autos

    DETROIT — Automaker Honda says a driver from Pasco County died in a crash earlier this month that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator.

    Honda says a driver near Tampa has died in a crash that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator. 
[Associated Press]