TAMPA — Leeco Steel LLC recently purchased a facility in Tampa and plans to open a new distribution center in the bay area, the Tampa Port Authority announced Wednesday. Port officials hope that will lead to more steel cargo flowing into and out of Port Tampa Bay.
Leeco, which is run out of Lisle, Ill., is one of the nation's top suppliers of carbon steel, alloy plate steel and high-strength low-alloy steel products. Its parent company is O'Neal Industries. Leeco has 11 facilities, 10 in North America and another in Chile. But the Tampa sales and distribution center will be its first facility in Florida.
The new 98,000-square-foot facility should be ready to go by April, the company said. Tampa Port Authority CEO Paul Anderson announced the new venture during the port's 25th annual Tampa Steel Conference, which is being held this week at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina.
The port made another announcement Wednesday: Tampa Fire Rescue Chief of Special Operations Emilio Salabarria was named the port's new director of safety and training. Salabarria, 51, is set to retire from Tampa Fire Rescue after 29 years on the job, during which he handled several emergencies involving the port. He'll start his new position on March 3.