The Port of Tampa welcomed the M/V Ireland, one of the largest ships to ever enter Tampa Bay Sunday morning. The Ireland will deliver materials needed for local construction.
“Not only is it her inaugural call here at the port, but it’s also her maiden voyage, so this one still has that new ship smell,” said Wade Elliot, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for the Port of Tampa Bay.
Elliot said the 750-foot-long, 68,000 ton, state-of-the-art ship, will be used for bulk shipments.
“She just came off the shipyard in China, transitted across the Pacific Ocean, through the Panama Canal, went to Calica, Mexico, to load limestone and this is her first trip.” said Elliot. “It had actually almost 65,000 short tons of limestone, so that was a pretty large shipment.”
The Ireland is owned by Vulcan Materials Company. The construction materials business, based in Alabama, is building a sister ship to the Ireland. It is set to arrive in Tampa sometime in the middle of June.
Because of continued development in the Bay Area, Elliot expects that the Port will continue to expand their cargo business.
“We anticipate further growth of limestone and other construction growing materials and Vulcan also I think realizes the opportunity,” Elliot said.