- Domingo 23 de janeiro de 2022
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Port of Tampa OKs building of 8 orange juice storage tanks

TAMPA - A subsidiary of the world's largest orange grower and processor plans to build eight 1 million gallon storage tanks at a new facility on the Port of Tampa to export orange juice worldwide from Florida.

The Tampa Port Authority this morning approved a lease option with Cutrale Citrus Juices USA of Auburndale that is expected to lead to a long-term lease of 2.7 acres of land along Berth 205 in Hookers Point.

The highly-mechanized facility will require five employees to operate, said Hugh Thompson, president of the Auburndale subsidiary of Sucocitrico Cutrale Ltd. of Brazil.

Construction of the orange juice storage tanks is expected to be completed within two years, Thompson said. Ten ships a year are expected to serve the facility.

The facility could move 300,000 tons of juice per year, three times the annual tonnage guarantee with the port. Other operations at the port handled 77,731 tons of citrus bulk concentrate in 2008.

The facility will require Cutrale to make a $25 million to $30 million investment, Thompson said.

The port will spend $1.8 million on dock improvements; $72,000 for port roadway improvements to ensure that Tampa Juice, a neighbor to the Cutrale site, will not be affected by their competitor's new truck traffic; and an undetermined amount to dredge the shipping area at the Cutrale facility to permit heavier ships.

In an unrelated matter, the port authority voted 5-0 to demolish three buildings in disrepair that had been used for cold storage. The rationale was that it would be uneconomical to invest up to $7.1 million for an additional 10 years of service and more room is needed to expand the port's container cargo area.

Port Director Richard Wainio said the demolition did not necessarily indicate the demise of cold storage at the port with the trend toward those shipments using containers.

Reporter Ted Jackovics can be reached at (813) 259-7817.


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