Port Manatee Contracts With Natural Gas Company, $150 Million Impact

The Manatee County Port Authority has entered into a long-term agreement with Port Dolphin Energy, which will provide Florida with another source of natural gas to meet the growing demand for alternative energy sources. The project is expected to be completed by 2013, and will pump more than $150 million into the local economy during the next 20 years.

"With the addition of Port Dolphin to our growing family of energy-related companies, Port Manatee exhibits its leadership as an incubator for local jobs and regional economic growth," says Larry Bustle, chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority. "This agreement reinforces the port's financial strength with a new, recurring revenue stream."

According to figures released by Port Dolphin Energy, the project's estimated $150 million stimulus will come in the form of jobs, tax revenue and supplies and services.

The project makes it possible for liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers to connect with Port Dolphin's offshore facility 28 miles off the coast of Manatee County, which in turn connects to an undersea pipeline system that comes onshore at Port Manatee. The supply coming in to the port complements the state supply provided by Florida Gas Transmission Co. and Gulfstream Natural Gas System pipelines.

Studies indicate that natural gas is cleaner, safer, more easily accessible and easier to store than oil. The Dolphin Energy project meets the objectives outlined in the Florida Public Service Commission's Ten-Year Plan that call for a more balanced fuel supply.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Larry Bustle, Manatee County Port Authority
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