Make us your home page
Instagram

NexLube halts construction on $120 million project at Port of Tampa

TAMPA — Construction of one of the most important projects at the Port of Tampa is on hold because of financial problems with the $120 million oil recycling facility, port officials said Tuesday.

In 2012, NexLube Tampa LLC signed a 20-year lease with the port authority and started building the 54,400-square-foot processing plant and 9,200-square-foot office building on 12.3 acres at the port's Pendola Point.

Set to open in 2014, NexLube billed it as the most advanced oil recycling plant in the world.

But Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, who sits on the port's governing board, said Tuesday that port officials have told her the company recently stopped construction for up to six months while it renegotiates contracts to shore up the project's finances.

"It's a very important project," Murman said. "I have complete confidence that they're going to finish the project."

This was not the project's first stumble. Last month, the company's former chief operating officer, Enzio D'Angelo, filed suit against NexLube in Hillsborough circuit court amid an ugly split between the two.

NexLube chose to build Florida's first oil re-refinery in Tampa to take advantage of the port's access to shipping lanes and rail lines. The plant — when, or if, it is finished — will use extreme heat and pressure to process 24 million gallons of used oil annually, transforming it into petroleum products to be resold, like cleaner-burning diesel.

NexLube's most important and most lucrative product would be the purest form of oil there is: technical-grade white oil, also known as TGWO or base oil. It's the only lubricant safe enough to make products for human consumption, like water bottles or hygiene products. TGWO is also used to lubricate machines that handle food products.

It also would be one of the most environmentally safe oil recycling facilities in the world, the company said. It would be powered by natural gas and its own petroleum byproducts, creating no waste products. It also would recycle used oil that otherwise would have been burned or dumped illegally, leaving less of the toxic substance to poison the air and water.

Officials from the Tampa Port Authority, NexLube and its corporate parent, Riata Corporate Group of Texas, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

When the NexLube deal was first announced in 2012, it was expected to create up to 75 high-paying jobs and 100 indirect jobs in the Tampa Bay area. State and county officials also offered the company several financial lures: $630,000 in state tax incentives and a 75 percent break on local property taxes.

Murman said port staffers are not concerned that the NexLube project will remain stalled.

"There didn't seem to be any high-level concern about them being able to finish at all," she said. "I know the people at NexLube. I trust them. I think that whatever situation they've gotten into, I'm sure they'll get it straightened out."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at (813) 226-3404, thalji@tampabay.com or @jthalji on Twitter.

NexLube halts construction on $120 million project at Port of Tampa 12/03/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 11:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]