Governor Scott Highlights Creation of Over 160 Jobs by Air Products, Expansion of Port Manatee Berth 14

Today, Governor Scott visited Port Manatee to highlight over 160 jobs created at Air Products since 2013. Governor Scott also highlighted the completion of Berth 14 at Port Manatee. The Florida Department of Transportation has invested over $3.3 million in the Berth 14 project.

Governor Scott said, “I’m proud to highlight Port Manatee’s completion of Berth 14. We are also proud to announce Air Products added over 160 new jobs in Manatee County in less than two years. Air Products is a great example of a company that is growing in our state and providing job opportunities for Florida families. This year we had a record investment in transportation infrastructure, and for the coming year we are proposing to invest $9.9 billion throughout the state. Projects like Berth 14 will continue to expand our port capacity, create more job opportunities, and put Florida on a path to become the global leader in job creation.”

Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanding Panama Canal, serving bulk, breakbulk, container, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 direct and indirect jobs. Port Manatee handles approximately 8 million tons of cargo each year representing a diverse range of import and export commodities.

Air Products, a world leader in clean energy, faced constraints in shipping their large heat exchangers, which can measure 180 feet long and weigh up to 500 tons. The need for a site with deep-water port access led them to Palmetto and Port Manatee. The company has created more than 160 jobs at the Bradenton-area facility since 2013 and will invest more than $50 million as a result of the expansion.

Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida president & CEO Bill Johnson said, “We are excited to celebrate another Florida port expansion, which has helped companies like Air Products create over 160 jobs since 2013. Florida’s transportation infrastructure is ranked second in the nation, leading to more than half a million Floridians being employed in the trade, transportation and logistics industry. Thanks to Governor Scott’s leadership, Florida is well positioned for continued trade success.”

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold said, “I applaud Governor Scott for recognizing the important role that seaports play in the economic well-being of Florida. Since 2011, the Governor has directed over $850 million in state funding for seaport infrastructure improvements. We’re pleased to be a partner on this Berth 14 project with state funding of $3.3 million.”

Air Products General Manager Sandy McLauchlin said, “When Air Products officially dedicated our manufacturing facility a little more than a year ago, we talked about why we located here and of the importance of the Port’s capabilities. This new berth will certainly enhance our ability to ship large heat exchangers to destinations around the globe. It remains to be seen how big we can build an LNG heat exchanger, but we are confident that at this new location, and with no shipping constraints, that we can build and ship one to whatever size the market requires. Congratulations to the Port and everyone involved with today’s Berth 14 dedication. We will do our best to keep you busy.”

 

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