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Terminal News

Energy transition and digitalisation

The FETSA conference & AGM will take place in Tarragona
The FETSA conference & AGM will take place in Tarragona
Jorge Lanza, CEO of the CLH Group explains how the company has embarked on a series of development projects to ensure it remains relevant amid the global energy transition

Storage terminal operators are currently facing new changes in our environment owing to the energy transition and digitisation of the economy, which will have an impact on our business models and our customers'.

As a result of these new challenges, CLH is executing its strategic plan, which aims to ensure the company's sustainability in the long term through three main goals: leaner and more efficient ways of working; bigger focus on meeting new customer needs by developing new services that maintain current operational excellence; and progressively diversifying its operations in new logistic activities and international markets, which already represent 14% of the company's revenue.

The world in light of the climate change challenge

As stated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its World Energy Outlook 2018, the world is trying to gradually transform the energy system to try and solve the unavoidable challenge of preventing climate change and reducing urban pollution, at the same time as improving the quality of life of millions of people who still do not have access to electricity or who rely on the traditional use of solid biomass as a cooking fuel.

In any of the scenarios envisaged by the IEA, including that of sustainable development, oil will continue to play an essential role, especially in the petrochemical and transportation sector, as it cannot yet be replaced by other energies. There is still room for its use, and it can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

The CLH Group is committed to take part in the fight against climate change and play a relevant role during this change period. In order to achieve this, the company is working along four strategic lines: reducing the environmental impact of its operations and its energy consumption; continue to provide efficient access to energy in those countries where there is currently none or is not optimal by applying latest technologies; continue to grow in aviation fuel supply; and actively participate in developing the infrastructures that the new energy solutions will require.

Present and future

Currently, CLH manages 40 oil product terminals in the Iberian Peninsula, including those located at the main ports of Spain (Bilbao, Barcelona, Cartagena, Algeciras and Huelva), where it is making major investments to upgrade service levels and offer the possibility of differentiated storage to its customers.

It recently launched its digital strategy, enabling the company to effectively apply new technologies into its operations, improve the way it works and offer more efficient services and increasingly adapted to its customers' needs.

In order to achieve a wider customer portfolio, it has invested heavily in its waterborne terminals. It has focused on achieving greater flexibility and speed, which are demanded by the increasing international movement of oil and chemical products. As an example of this, CLH operates its network of terminals and loading racks distributed across the whole Spanish territory from a single central control room.

In Barcelona, the company has recently invested more than €10 million to expand and make its terminal more flexible. After such expansion, the CLH plant at Barcelona Port has 44 tanks with a total capacity of nearly 500,000 m3, two berths with a draught of 13.5 m and 11.56 m, each equipped with six automated loading and discharge arms with a flow rate of 1,500 m3 per hour, and another berth for barges with two arms, in addition to differentiated systems that allow the management of several different products simultaneously.

Its versatile facility at Bilbao Port has eight tanks, fully drainable and completely segregated, two of which have a heating system and six of which are equipped with a floating screen, totalling a capacity of over 114,000 m3, and two berths for vessels with SDW of up to 115,000 tonnes and a pumping capacity of 2,000 m3 per hour.

These two facilities, together with the plants located at the ports of Huelva and Cartagena, are connected to a pipeline network of over 4,000 kilometres managed by the company, which offers great flexibility and operational capacity.

The CLH Group also has an important pipeline and storage terminal network in the UK, where it offers a wide range of logistics services for the storage and transportation of different oil products, particularly aviation fuel.

CLH has also entered into direct agreements with several airlines for into-plane fuelling services thanks to our ability to adapt to the specific needs of each customer and the digitisation of our operations.

In addition, it continues to progress its international expansion plan and last year it started our commercial operations in America, by operating all Panama airports. CLH Aviation Ireland recently inaugurated a new fuel farm and the first section of the new hydrant network at Dublin airport as part of a renovation project. It also commissioned a new logistics pipeline and terminal network in 2018 in Oman in cooperation with Orpic, and it signed an agreement with Mexican company HST to build and operate a new oil product storage facility located in the metropolitan area of Mexico valley.

As a result of all these projects, CLH has positioned itself to continue playing a relevant role in the energy logistics sector by adapting the company to the new environment created by the energy transition.

Lanza will be speaking more on adapting oil logistics to the energy transition on the morning of the first day of the FETSA conference and exhibition on 12th June. For more information and to book your seat at the conference, visit the event website.

The FETSA conference & AGM will take place in Tarragona