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Port Tampa Bay clears way for oil, fertilizer, concrete facility expansions

The proposed manufacturing and shipping sites could bring $220 million in development and 150 new jobs.
Port Tampa Bay, viewed here from its cruise terminal area in October 2020, has approved several potential manufacturing expansions over the coming years.
Port Tampa Bay, viewed here from its cruise terminal area in October 2020, has approved several potential manufacturing expansions over the coming years. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jan. 18

Port Tampa Bay commissioners on Tuesday approved several lease expansions and extensions that could bring hundreds of millions in development to the port — all of it via facilities tied to the production and shipment of oil, phosphate and concrete.

Oil recycling company Puraglobe will triple the space it currently leases at Pendola Point, adding 25 contiguous acres to its existing 12.5-acre parcel. That would give it room to build two $100 million oil refineries alongside its current $35 million oil blending facility, which opened in 2020. Plans for the refineries are in the early stages, but they could bring as many as 150 jobs to the region, with the first facility open in 2024, according to the company.

With the new refineries, Puraglobe would aim to boost production of synthetic blend oil for shipment from Tampa to Latin America and eventually the Asian and Pacific markets.

“We’re putting all these pieces in place, and this is one of the first steps, is to get the plans so we can have the space to build and grow,” said Daane Reinking, managing director with Puraglobe USA.

The new lease will pay Port Tampa Bay $22 million over 20 years. The port also adjusted the terms of Puraglobe’s existing lease to better align with the new lease. That contract is currently worth $13 million.

The port also approved a site adjustment for its lease with building materials company Titan America, which wants to build a $20 million ready-mix concrete production facility on five of the 33 acres it leases on Hooker’s Point. The port, which had approved site permits for the facility in October, voted that the expansion posed no conflict to existing port operations.

Finally, the port approved a rent hike for the Mosaic Co., one of Tampa Bay’s largest public companies, which has leased space there since 1972. The phosphate mining company will see its rent rise from around $1,300 per acre to $5,000 per acre in 2023 and 2024, increasing each year until it hits $25,000 per acre in 2026 and 2027. Rent would then be adjusted annually for the remainder of the 20-year-lease.

The port agreed to lease Mosaic an additional two acres and 18,000 square feet of warehouse space for the storage and operations of phosphate and fertilizer materials. The lease is for $230,000 through 2024 as Mosaic develops its long-term export strategy for those products. Eventually the company could build a bagging facility in the space.

“This has been a great facility for us,” said Brady Breaux, Mosaic’s senior director of warehousing and distribution. “It’s a strategic storage footprint here in the port that allows us to bring product from the plant to the port, and then make the decision whether that product goes to North America via the river system or gets exported globally.”

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Port commissioner Patrick Allman said all the proposed facilities, while years away, would have a significant impact on the local manufacturing economy.

“From my perspective, if you never exported a thing, just having a large number of manufacturing jobs in a state where there’s very little manufacturing is still good,” he said.

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