Paul Bogan, Sea-3’s vice president of operations, says the port’s board of commissioners approved a permit for the company to begin adding the infrastructure so it can bring in LP gas by rail, store it in three new 90,000-gallon storage tanks and supply the Florida market with propane. He says the company is also adding dehydration equipment, refrigeration equipment and seven unloading berths for railcars.
According to The Tampa Tribune, propane will arrive to the facility from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. In addition, Sea-3 plans to hire six full-time employees at the Port Tampa Bay facility.
“The fracking that started in this country about three years ago is going full blast, producing a lot of propane at a very cheap price,” Bogan says. “We are going to take advantage of the domestic propane, bringing it in by rail. Some will go directly to the truck rack for domestic use in the Tampa area and within 50 or 100 miles, and some we may export.”
Sea-3 also recently made advances with its plans to upgrade its Newington, N.H., terminal in November to increase propane deliveries by railcar to that local market. Sea-3 plans to install three 90,000-gallon tanks to the facility. Bogan says the company has had similar plans for both port facilities.
“Both facilities are in a similar predicament,” Bogan says. “The international price of propane went sky high, and with fracking, the domestic price dropped considerably. This [Port Tampa Bay] facility was typically an import facility, so we looked to the future to change some things here.”
Sea-3’s Port Tampa Bay lease will be in effect until the end of 2020. According to Port Tampa Bay, Sea-3 is expected to move 2 million barrels of LP gas annually from the Tampa port and will likely increase its expansion to include a rail extension to improve its operational flow.