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Oil re-refining takes off in Tampa

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A private company is spending more than $100-million to build a brand new plant in Tampa that promises to create high paying jobs while helping the environment. NexLube is an oil re-refining plant.

"You are looking at a future re-refining and blending plant for used oil," according to Enzio D´Angelo, Chief Operating Officer at NexLube.

D'Angelo explains how NexLube plans to collect 24-million gallons of dark, dirty oil and re-refine it into 20-million gallons of clean, white, mineral oil. The company hopes the process will allow them to transform their work into hundreds of applications.

"We have superior white oil. By having the base, we can foumalte any type of lubricant. This is our competitive advantage....that nobody else has in the state," D'Angelo explains.

His enthusiasm is contagious. Private investors are pumping more than $100-million into the operation. It's already created jobs for a thousand construction workers; with more full time jobs to fill before the end of 2013.

"After the plant is built we're going to have over 75 permanent employees and very high classified people," D'Angelo said.

NexLube Tampa will be the first re-refinery plant in Florida. Only a dozen exist nation-wide, which sounds strange when you consider that Americans improperly dispose of more than 200-million gallons of used oil each year.

All of the used oil collected in Tampa and turned into re-refined lubricant will be used again, again, and again.

"From the lubricant you get the used oil, from the used oil the base oil, we put the additive and we again produce lubricant. The lubricant you change it after a year and we go through the process again, forever," according to D'Angelo.

There's a tank farm where the used oil, intermediate oils and final products will be stored. There's space for research and technology and a 55,000 square foot blending plant.

And if all goes according to plan, D'Angelo sees NexLube doubling its footprint at the port allowing the plan to collect and re-refine even more used oil.

Job postings will go out in a few months. The plant should be pumping out re-refined oil by early 2014.

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