U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor applauds oil recycling start-up at Port of Tampa

11/06/13 Janelle Irwin
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Tags: kathy castor, NexLube, Oil, recycling, environment, economic development, Port of Tampa


Safety first for U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) during a press conference at the Port of Tampa.

photo by Janelle Irwin

The first oil recycling business in Florida is scheduled to open by next summer. During a press conference Wednesday at the Port of Tampa where work has already begun on the $120 million NexLube facility, U.S. Representative Kathy Castor said the project will create 800 construction jobs.

“But eventually, when it’s operational, the higher wage, technical jobs that we need here in this community for a change.”

About 85-100 permanent jobs are expected to open with NexLube – a handful of those are for Professional Engineers, but Monte Bell, president of the oil recycling company, said most are skilled labor jobs up for grabs.

“The majority of the jobs will be operators. So, those are – you typically don’t need a college degree for that, but those are still a high skill operation. This is like a refinery. This is the first refinery in Florida, so these will be skills that will be taught to the community. So, we’ll work with some of the local training programs that are sponsored through the Hillsborough County EDC and some of the universities here.”

All of those jobs will pay around $60,000 a year. Workers will play roles in taking old, dirty oil and cleaning it to re-sell as new.

“We take a used motor oil and clean it up, basically. We pull out the additives that are in the oil. We recapture the most important part which is the base oil and then we manufacture a brand new motor oil with it.”

Bell said it’s good for consumers because of both environmental impacts and economic growth.

“85% of that oil, once it’s used and you go to have your oil changed – 85% of that product becomes a fuel that’s sold at a value of less than $2 a gallon. We can take that same $2 a gallon and turn it back into a $10-15 per gallon product. So, it’s not consumed. It’s going to be recycled over and over and over and over.”

The company chose the Port of Tampa for its base of operations because of the access to waterways to import old oil and export new. Congress member Castor, a Democrat, said it’s a great move toward environmental sustainability.

“It’s going to provide health benefits across the state because you won’t have those dirty disposal processes. You’ll have a clean disposal process.”

She also expects that NexLube will serve as an attractor for other companies to open up shop in Tampa.

“And it’s going to help the businesses that currently dispose of waste oil all across the state of Florida dispose of it in a sustainable way that will now leverage the profits they’ll make in this new clean, refined, recycled oil product into a great export for the Port of Tampa.”

Following the press conference near the NexLube construction site, Castor toured the facility wearing a neon safety vest and a hard hat. She said she’ll come back again when the job is done.

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