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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Boost Capacity and Enhance Resiliency at the Port of Panama City

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $10 million grant to the Panama City Port Authority of Panama City, Florida, to help build a new biomass bulk storage facility at the Port of Panama City. The project, to be matched with $3.2 million in state investment, is expected to create 25 jobs and generate $70 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping advance locally-devised strategies designed to spur new business opportunities and promote resiliency to natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new biomass storage facility will increase the bulk cargo exporting capabilities of the Port by 300,000 tons per year and protect the Port against future extreme weather.”

“We thank President Trump and Secretary Ross for their continued support,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This new biomass bulk facility will not only bolster the region’s economy with increased exports and new jobs and investment, it will make the Port of Panama City more resilient against future storms and natural disasters.”

“I am proud to have assisted the Panama City Port Authority in urging the Department of Commerce to award them this important grant to help build a new biomass bulk storage facility,” said Marco Senator Rubio. “I thank Secretary Ross for awarding these funds, which represent an important investment in the local infrastructure to make the area more resilient to natural disasters. I will continue to do everything I can to assist the Florida Panhandle in their ongoing recovery from Hurricane Michael’s devastation.”

“The work being done at Florida’s ports will build on our state’s success as a national and global leader for shipping and logistics,” said Senator Rick Scott. “The $10 million EDA grant for the Port of Panama City’s expansion will help support more jobs for local families, continue to expand North Florida’s economy, and better position the community for future storms.”

“I’m grateful for the leadership of the Trump Administration and Secretary Ross as we secured this funding to improve the Port of Panama City’s capacity to store biomass generated by the North Florida timber industry,” said Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-02). “This is just another example of the rebuilding process and another signal that the Panhandle is open for business.”

The project will help to build the biomass bulk storage facility as well as a conveyance system that will connect it with the existing flat warehouse bulk terminal. The facility will enhance the resiliency of business operations by reducing product damages resulting from natural disasters. This will, in turn, limit interruption of exports and prevent job loss. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Emerald Coast Regional Council. EDA funds the Emerald Coast Regional Council to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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