NAVIGATION

May 28, 2016
RockTenn

RockTenn’s fluff pulp, used in absorbent products like diapers, is loaded onto ships for export.

wood pellets

Green Circle Bio Energy’s wood pellets

Photo: Ray Stanyard

Trade

Rising Tide - Bay County's International Trade Growth

Charlotte Crane | 12/19/2012

Bay County, home to northwest Florida’s largest port and its only container port, is riding a wave of international trade growth.

» Port Panama City wrapped up its fiscal year in September with a 3% cargo gain over 2011.

» The port’s biggest customer, 2008 Cottondale startup Green Circle Bio Energy, shipped more than a half-million tons to Europe and expects to maintain the momentum. The company annually buys $30 million worth of timber from regional growers to produce wood pellets at its 77-employee plant in Jackson County. The pellets are sold under long-term contracts to European electric utility companies, says CEO Morten Neraas. Production is up 10% from last year and currently at capacity.

» The Panama City Port Authority plans to build the first two buildings at its newly approved off-site Intermodel Distribution Center, designed for port arrivals awaiting pickup and U.S. delivery by rail or truck. One building site is already under contract.

» Berg Steel Pipe is close to completing a $30-million expansion at its port-site manufacturing plant, which will broaden its product range, says Vice President of Operations John Burton. The 175-employee plant makes steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, shipped largely to Canada and Mexico.

» RockTenn operates a Panama City paper mill with 475 employees and its own port, producing liner board, of which 20% is exported, and fluff pulp for absorbent products, 80% of which is exported. Markets are in Asia, Central and South America, Middle East and Europe.

Panama City Port

2012 Tons Chg. from 2011
Major exports    
Wood pellets 588,584 +20%
Paper 113,724 -24%
Container cargo 126,400 -1.8%
Major import    
Copper 251,764 -1%
Total 1,422,729 +3%
Source: Panama City Port Authority

Tags: International Trade, Northwest

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the U.S.
Superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the U.S.

For the first time, researchers have found a person in the United States carrying bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could mean "the end of the road" for antibiotics.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Pending home sales have climbed to the highest level in a decade. Are you in the market to sell or buy a home?

  • Yes, will be selling a house/condo soon
  • Yes, am in the market to buy
  • No, not looking to sell or buy

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe