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Port of Tampa receives $22.5 million for improvements

Florida Governor Rick Scott has recently announced a major strategic investment to better the state's ability to attract trade. The state has allocated $22.5 million toward the modernization and expansion of the port. According to a Port of Tampa Authority press release, the investment will help improve operations for the largest economic engine in west central Florida,  which supports nearly 100,000 jobs and generates almost $8 billion in annual economic impact.

Tampa is critical to the economic success of the region, as all of the gasoline and the aviation jet fuel for local airports is delivered there. The port also handles more than 34 million tons of cargo per year, including both bulk cargo and consumer goods. Ships arrive from India, Mexico, Brazil, Trinidad, Canada, Russia, Australia, Japan, Argentina and Turkey on a regular basis, and the destination has also emerged as one of the top eight U.S cruise ports. Over a million passengers embark and disembark from the docks a year. 

The planned improvements include a new primary petroleum terminal complex and the expansion of the port's container storage terminal. Officials claim that these improvements will make Tampa a bigger player in the global cargo business, especially when it comes to the shipping of consumer goods.

"We are putting ourselves — our community — in a position now to reap the rewards of a more regionalized and diversified port in the future," said Paul Anderson, chief executive of the Tampa Port Authority, to local news source TheLedger.com.

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