Two hundred jobs are being created through a major manufacturing facility to be built at the Port of Pensacola.
Mayor Ashton Hayward kicked off the announcement, with a number of business leaders and elected officials sitting under a tent and battling a swarm of gnats near Commendencia Slip. The City Council approved a lease agreement in March, which was executed in May – opening the door for the project.
“Pensacola’s proud maritime history stretches back more than 450 years, to the moment the Spanish ships sailed into the bay in 1559,” said Hayward. “Today, we take the next step into the future of our port.”
Offshore Inland, which specializes in topside and riding crew repair services, is joining DeepFlex -- the world’s lone manufacturer of un-bonded non-metallic pipe for deep water drilling. DeepFlex President and CEO Felipe Lamego says one of their objectives was to establish the firm in Pensacola.
Offshore Inland is no stranger to the Gulf Coast, with facilities in Mobile, Galveston and Port Freeport, Texas; Port Fourchon, Louisiana and Dos Bocas, Mexico. The firm plans to spend up to $12 million to build the Pensacola operation.
Port Director Amy Miller says construction is expected to begin almost immediately, with the plant scheduled to be fully operational by the second half of 2015, producing up to 62 miles of the specialized pipe per year.
“They’re going to retrofit an existing building, and then they’re going to take about three and a half acres of land immediately adjacent to that building and add new capacity as well,” Miller said. “So when it’s all said and done, it will be a complex comprised of an existing 40,000 square foot building and an additional 70,000 square foot (of) new construction.”
Miller is also hopeful that they can use the new operation to convince similar firms to move in and set up shop at the Port of Pensacola.
The pipe produced at the new facility will leave the Port by truck, rail, barge, cargo ship and aboard pipe-laying vessels that come calling. That means in addition to rent, the firm will generate income through the various cargo and vessel fees normally associated with Port activity.