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Terminal News

The storage bridge between east and west

The storage bridge between east and west
The Eliat Ashkelon Pipeline Company plans to capitalise further on its coveted position in the heart of the Mediterranean basin with additional capacity

Situated on one of the world's most strategic crossroads, the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company is a crucial link in connecting the European and eastern energy markets.

Since the 1960s, the company has established comprehensive storage and logistics infrastructure to capitalise on the natural narrow land bridge between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

As Israel embarks on an energy revolution, with more investment focused on storage and pipeline assets, the EAPC is poised to meet the growing demand for capacity in the region.

In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine, Effie Milutin, deputy general manager at EAPC, explains that the lack of capacity in the Mediterranean basin and the demand for storage in the eastern Mediterranean prompted the company to expand in 2010 with an extra 800,000 m3 of capacity.

He says: 'The EPAC links Europe and the east, connecting energy producers to their markets.

'With the ability to pump crude oil in both directions, EAPC offers its international customers substantially increased storage capacity and flexibility.

'Cargoes from Russia and central Asia can take the shorter, faster, cost-effective route to energy markets in the east without circling Africa or adhere to the size limitations of the Suez Canal. White products from the eastern hemisphere can also make their route to Europe and utilise the EAPC's hub.'

Such is demand for capacity that executives are in the final stages of receiving approvals and permits for an additional 800,000 m3 storage capacity for crude oil in Ashkelon Oil Port. Once complete, it will bring EAPC's total storage capacity at both ends of the pipeline to 4.5 million m3.

Reverse flow

Uniquely, the company engineered their pipeline system as part of their reverse flow project. The system can pump crude oil from the Mediterranean Oil Port of Ashkelon, through the 42 inch pipeline to the company's other terminal in Eilat on the Red Sea. This bi-directional functionality has also allowed the company to double its operational storage capacity.

Milutin explains: 'One of the reasons that triggered the reverse flow project was the assumption that part of the crude oil produced in Russia and the central Asian republics can be marketed at competitive prices for distribution in southern Asia and the Far East.

'The long route around Africa and the limitations of the Suez Canal in relation to the size of the tankers, gives our route a definite competitive advantage.

'EACP's range of facilities offers the option of collecting several cargoes of 600,000 barrels or 1 million barrels at our storage terminals and then re-delivering bigger cargoes at Eliat or Ashkelon.'

The majority of crude oil capacity in Israel is provided by EAPC. The two pipelines from Ashkelon Oil Port, feed Israel's two oil refineries: Haifa in northern Israel and Ashdod in central Israel.

A state owned company, together with another company operates the national grid of pipelines for oil products, as well as the distribution of these products to Israeli customers.

Milutin adds: 'EAPC has capacities among the world's largest, and serves the needs of the Israeli market, together with international commercial and logistical requirements. A majority of the company's systems and facilities also serve foreign energy companies and trading houses, by providing a logistic hub for crude oil and oil products.'

Milutin will be speaking on the first day of the StocExpo Europe conference on March 28 about EAPC's role in the Mediterranean basin and its future expansion plans. Visit the website for more information about the conference.