A ghost company with no assets, not even an office or the land it claims for its Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) liquefaction facility, no investment, and no business partners. What reporters from Tampa Bay Times found was even worse than what what we found by attending a Port Tampa Bay board meeting: Port Tampa Bay has no agreement with Strom, and wants none. The reporters’ findings take us back to 2014.
Strom Inc. previously listed an Ybor City building as its physical location, which it no longer occupies. Pictured is the building. [ MALENA CAROLLO | Tampa Bay Times ]
Malena Carollo and Jay Cridlin, Tampa Bay Times, 20 July 2021,
A company asked to ship gas through Tampa’s port. Then it
A plan to transport liquefied natural gas from Citrus County to Tampa has activists concerned — even though details are scant.
The Tampa Port Authority’s June board meeting started like always, with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Then came the call for public comments.
Most port board meetings feature one or two speakers, if any. This one had nine, queued up both on Zoom and in person. All had the same concern: An April report to the U.S. Department of Energy filed by a fuel company called Strom Inc.
Seven years ago, Strom obtained a license from the federal government and has quietly pursued a plan to move a fuel called “liquified natural gas,” or LNG, from a 174-acre facility in Crystal River to one of Florida’s ports via truck or train. Its April report indicated that Port Tampa Bay has tentatively agreed to be its choice.
The fuel is a form of natural gas that is cooled to become a liquid. It is most often used in countries that don’t have infrastructure to extract and transport the gas form of the energy source. Opponents say the fuel can be dangerous to transport, calling rail shipments “bomb trains,” and should bear public discussion before a decision is reached to move it through a city. That’s what prompted the cavalcade of speakers at the port.
Their questions came as a surprise to port leaders, because as one official told the speakers: Port Tampa Bay has no agreement with Strom. It is not negotiating with Strom. And it has no plans to export liquefied natural gas of any kind.
In fact, much of the information Strom has provided to the federal government about its efforts to produce and export liquefied natural gas, the Tampa Bay Times found, is outdated by years.
Not only does Strom have no agreement with Port Tampa Bay, it has no investors or outside backing, no natural gas supplier and does not own the Crystal River property on which it told the Department of Energy it plans to start building a production facility this year.
“It’s kind of like a ghost company,” said Don Taylor, president of the Economic Development Authority for Citrus County, who years ago worked with Strom as the company pursued economic incentives to build in Crystal River. “They just kind of disappeared, and we never heard from them again.”
There’s much more detail in the article, which is well worth reading.
The reporters even got a response out of the head of Strom, Inc.:
In an email to the Tampa Bay Times, Dean Wallace, Strom’s president and co-founder of its parent company, Glauben Besitz, LLC, called the discrepancies in its Department of Energy filings Continue reading