PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee is anticipating a big boost in exports of recycled steel materials following acquisition of a port-adjacent 25.5-acre facility by a new subsidiary of Peru-based steelmaker Aceros Arequipa.
“Port Manatee enthusiastically welcomes Aceros America Port Manatee LLC as the latest addition to our expanding customer base here at the global gateway of Southwest and Central Florida,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “We look forward to working with the company in achieving its goal of exporting 100,000 tons from Port Manatee on an annual basis.”
The shipments are to head from Port Manatee to Peru, where Aceros Arequipa is ramping up production at a new electric-arc furnace mill in Pisco. The new mill requires 1.3 million tons of raw steel per year – 450,000 tons more than was required annually at the production facility it is succeeding.
“This is a big step for us – our first into the recycled steel business in the United States – as it will be integral to meeting increased demand while decreasing dependency upon third parties for raw materials,” said Diego Arróspide Benavides, manager of Aceros America Port Manatee LLC.
The facility acquired by the Aceros Arequipa unit from Lewiston, Maine-based Grimmel Industries is about 1.5 miles from Port Manatee’s deepwater berths.
“As Port Manatee continues to diversify its commodity mix and its revenue streams, the presence of Aceros America Port Manatee should stimulate further growth of the port while augmenting the already-impressive impacts Port Manatee generates for Manatee County and beyond,” said Reggie Bellamy, chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The self-sustaining port generates more than $3.9 billion in annual economic impacts while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs, all without benefit of local property tax support.