Zenith Energy and Cargill have entered into an agreement for the storage and handling of palm oil in Zenith's Palermo Tanks Terminal in Colombia.
As part of this agreement, Zenith will build 19,000 m3 of storage capacity in four dedicated tanks for Cargill's palm oil operation. Construction work started on February 1. The project comprises a new dyke, tanks with heating systems, a dedicated dock line, dedicated truck loading and unloading positions with capabilities to import and export products.
Jeff Armstrong, president and CEO of Zenith, says: 'We are pleased to form this agreement with Cargill, one of the leading global producers and traders of agricultural products.
'Colombia remains an important and fast growing producer of sustainable palm oil worldwide, and this agreement is an important step forward for our Palermo Tanks facility in Barranquilla. We are excited to work with Cargill and look forward to advancing our partnership in the region.'
The US Department of State has signed and issued a presidential permit to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The project represents an investment of more than $15 billion in liquids and natural gas projects that will create thousands of jobs and will create economic benefits across the US.
TransCanada will continue to engage key stakeholders and neighbours throughout Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota to obtain the necessary permits and approvals to advance the project.
The company has confirmed that it has discontinued its claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement and will end its US Constitutional challenge.
Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and CEO, says: 'This is a significant milestone for the Keystone XL project.
'We greatly appreciate President Trump's administration for reviewing and approving this important initiative and we look forward to working with them as we continue to invest in and strengthen North America's energy infrastructure.'
Vopak Americas is expanding its Deer Park storage terminal with the construction of 10 new tanks.
The expansion of the facility on the Houston Ship Channel will add 138,000 m3 of capacity and related infrastructure to receive, store and export ethanol and biodiesel products.
Matrix Service has been awarded the engineering, fabrication, procurement and construction project and work started in mid-December 2016. It is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2019.
Boudewijn Siemons, divisional president for Vopak Americas, says: 'We are excited to be expanding our Deer Park terminal with a state-of-the-art zero emission tank capacity and relevant infrastructure.
'Sustainability is a core value at Vopak and this investment ensure all emissions, including tank venting are captured and destroyed.'
The CLH Group will invest €830 million over the next four years on international expansions, meeting customer needs and developing new services.
A significant part of the planned investments will be earmarked for the development of new international projects, the consolidation of existing projects as well as improving CLH's infrastructure in Spain.
Investments in new international projects will amount to €400 million, in addition to the direct investment of the CLH Group in existing international projects in the UK, Ireland and Oman, which will exceed €130 million.
Additionally, almost €300 million will be invested in the improvement of the company's Spanish infrastructure, focused on operational and safety improvements as well as automation and the development of environmental protection projects.
Details of the investments were announced during a presentation of the company's new strategic plan 2017 – 2021.
In the UK, a new commercial model based on the operational system of CLH in Spain will be implemented. In Ireland, the plan set out details on the completion of a new facility at CLH Aviation Ireland, which could start operations in May 2019, 14 months ahead of the date agreed with the Dublin Airport Authority.
In Oman, for the strategic plan period, the main focus is on the completion of the construction and commissioning of a storage facility and a pipeline of nearly 300 kilometres at the end of 2017.
Chairman and CEO José Luis López de Silanes says: 'The plan will lay a solid foundation for the company's international expansion and will allow the CLH Group to become a major benchmark in the logistics sector.'
Work on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is moving forward following government approval.
Kinder Morgan has been moving forward with regulatory, commercial and construction planning aspects ahead of construction starting in the autumn of 2017.
Following federal approval Tran Mountain delivered a final cost estimate and revised tolls to its shippers. Since receiving this, some existing and prospective shippers have picked up capacity from other shippers. The net result of that process is the turn back of only 22,000 barrels per day or 3% of the previously committed barrels. These barrels will be made available, on the same terms as existing commitments, to the market in an open season that will begin on March 9.
This final cost estimate and increased tolls are reflected in the project cost of $7.4 billion CAD. The company says the higher costs are as a result of implementing public feedback such as thicker pipe wall, additional drilled crossing in environmentally sensitive areas and the Burnaby Mountain tunnel.
Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, says: 'It's been a lengthy and rigorous process and in spite of the many changes in the markets over the five years since our customers signed on, we knew commercial support for this project remained strong.'
Next steps include arranging acceptable financing and a final investment decision by Kinder Morgan. The project is expecting an in-service date of late 2019.
Ian Travers outlines smart approaches to process safety risk management in the tank terminal sector
The nature and scale of risk associated with the large-scale and concentrated storage of bulk hazardous substances is well understood. Incidents such as Buncefield in the UK in 2005 and the Caribbean Petroleum Refining explosion in 2009 illustrate the catastrophic consequences of a loss of containment.
Storage located along estuaries and coastal sites pose a special risk to protected marine environments. The combined pressure of protecting people and the environment comes with the territory of managing any large-scale terminal facility. Fortunately few operators have ever experienced a catastrophic accident however, the past is not a good predictor of the future when it comes to risk management.
Learning the risks
So what are the big lessons to learn about risks from terminal storage operations over the last 20 to 30 years? We know that implementing a process safety management system effectively manages catastrophic risks. But major catastrophic accidents keep occurring, so what are the factors that operators should pay attention to?
It is not the technology
The second big lesson is that it's not the technology that lets us down. There have been major improvements in plant design, integrity and asset management in the last 20-30 years. This includes secondary and tertiary containment to keep large spills confined and recoverable in the event of a major tank failure. Safety instrumented systems that are the guardian of safe operations and level control have seen a significant reduction in the risk of tank overfilling – which was at the core of what went wrong at Buncefield.
The complexity and the sheer scope of safety issues can be the enemy of effective risk management in modern process plant and installations. But not all safety systems contribute equally to risk reduction or safety performance and people are now the critical and vulnerable factor. Few terminal operating companies have the luxury of high manning levels, spare human resources and a workforce with many years of experience. Lean operations and contracting out support and maintenance is common place. Operational and maintenance errors based on inexperience or lack of a fundamental understanding of process safety risks is likely to form the trigger for the next big incident.
Sitting alongside this front line weakness in process safety management is a lack of thorough understanding of the principles of process safety management by senior managers and executives. Organisations soon become over reliant on a few safety specialists who hold the key knowledge and information about process safety and how all the safety system components fit together to deliver safe outcomes. Without the appropriate degree of competence in process safety management, effective decision making at senior management level can be become blinded to the potential impacts that critical decisions and actions can have on process safety integrity.
A good example of this was at BP's Texas City Refinery, where a blanket maintenance cost reduction exercise led to neglect of critical process safety control measures. Similar circumstance occurred at Buncefield however, it was organisational complexity and lack of clear responsibility that led to such neglect.
A recurring theme appears to be an inability within organisations to identify key ongoing operational and maintenance tasks that contribute the greatest to sustainable safe operation and to then to rigorously focus on ensuring that these are undertaken the way they were intended.
The converse is also true – neglect the most vulnerable parts of risk management and a disaster is bound to occur at some point. The old adage that you are only as good as the weakest point holds true for catastrophic risk management.
The weakest part is now the human input to risk management, not the hardware or safety instrumented systems. Many incidents I have investigated have been as a result of a single critical mistake made by an individual responsible for a key part of safe operations or maintenance or from a critical error made during risk assessment or say authorisation of a plant change or issuing a permit to work.
However, when senior managers discover such failings there is disbelief because a safety management system existed on paper and had been implemented at some time in the past within the business.
Unfortunately, such failures arise because there is little focus on whether systems can continue to deliver the intended outcome long after they are first designed and put in place.
Delivering the right safety and environmental protection outcomes involves people at all levels within an organisation from senior executives, managers and operational staff. Safety cannot just be the responsibility of a small dedicated professional team, everyone involved has to get on the same page and get involved in the same way because the hazards are always on the same page and always present, no matter how inconvenient it is.
Confusion, misunderstanding and misaligned priorities can all lead to catastrophic consequences. The hazards and the safety risks will all still be present whether or not those involved in controlling this risks all have the same focus.
There are now good techniques and methodologies using bow tie analysis to undertake risk profiling being developed. They also identify those aspects of process safety risk management which contribute the greatest to the prevention of a major incident but which are those most vulnerable to failure.
These techniques have been applied successfully within the bulk storage terminal sector with surprising results. Such clarity of focus has helped business to focus on what really matters and to scale back activities which are less liable to fail. This saves costs and also provides an ability to respond quickly to early signs of failure within complex systems.
Travers will be speaking on the first day of the StocExpo Europe conference on March 28 about process safety management.Visit the website www.stocexpo.com for more information about the show
HES has announced plans to develop a terminal for the storage and transhipment of petroleum products and biofuels at Maasvlakte 1 in Rotterdam.
BP, who owns BP Refinery Rotterdam, has committed to plans for pipeline connections between the refinery and the terminal. The facility will have 52 tanks with a capacity of 1.3 million m3. Additionally, the Port of Rotterdam Authority will invest in a quay wall of 1,100 metres to accommodate three large or five smaller sea-going vessels. There will be nine berths in the Hudson harbour for barges.
The facility, the HES Hartel Tank Terminal, will be an independent storage terminal where customers can store and tranship liquid products. BP has signed a multi-year contract, which will increase its activities in Rotterdam.
Clean petroleum products will be stored at the terminal, including diesel, gasoil and petrol. It will also be possible to blend products, add additives and homogenise cargoes at the terminal. The tanks will vary in size from 5,000 to 50,000 m3. A quay wall will be built to accommodate vessels ranging in size up to VLCCs with a draft of 21 meters.
CEO Jan Vogel says: 'With the development of this state of the art terminal, HES International demonstrates that it can serve the long-term needs of its customers. At the same time, we are realising our ambitious growth plans. Together with the expansions at our terminals, the new facility will strengthen our position as one of Europe's most important companies in terms of the storage and transhipment of dry and liquid bulk products.'
The facility is due to be constructed in 2018 and 2019 and is expected to be ready by the end of 2019.
Sprague Resources has commenced proceedings to buy two refined product terminal assets on Long Island, New York, from Carbo Industries and Carbo Realty.
The terminals are located in Inwood and Lawrence, and have a combined petrol, ethanol and distillate storage capacity of 157,000 barrels. The terminals are supplied primarily by pipeline and have the ability to accept product deliveries by barge and truck.
Carbo provides the storage, blending and additive injection capabilities to serve major branded petrol marketers as well as unbranded petrol/distillate marketers focused on the New York City and Long Island markets.
The deal is expected to cost $70 million, plus payments for inventory and other customary items.
David Glendon, president and CEO of Sprague, says: 'The Carbo facilities have long been an integral component of our distribution network and we are thrilled to convert our position from tenant to owner in this critical location, further solidifying our status as one of New York's premier refined products terminal operators and marketers.
'While the Carbo terminals' total combined storage capacity will rank among the smallest in our network, their expected combined annual throughput will be higher than any single Sprague-owned facility.'
TransCanada Corporation has announced plans to add 6.2 million barrels of new crude oil storage at its Cushing terminal in Oklahoma.
The new storage will be owned by M2 Infrastructure and operated by TransCanada. Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, M2 has an option to build up to 20 million barrels of storage, which would be built in subsequent phases.
The project and option to expand are subject to completion of definitive agreements between the parties as well as acquiring the required approvals and land rights. Construction of the crude storage is expected to start in late 2017.
M2 will work with Matrix Global Holdings to sell storage capacity to its customers through on-line auctions for futures contracts and/or physical forward agreements.
J. Robert Collings, Jr, co-founder and manager of M2 Infrastructure, says: 'This project's unique position in Cushing, combined with the innovative excellence of Matrix, should provide the lowest cost, highest throughput, most liquid and most connected storage solution in the midcontinent – eliminating costly limitations of alternative storage programmes.'
Puma Energy has achieved an EBITDA growth of 12% as a result of record sales volumes and a series of organic growth projects.
In its 2016 financial results, the company increased sales volumes by 16% to 22 million m3 and increased gross profit by 7% and EBITDA across all segments and regions.
Last year it finalised several major construction projects and increased storage capacity to 7.9 million m3 as well as acquiring its 100th terminal, in Belfast, Ireland from BP.
CEO Pierre Eladari says: 'I was pleased to see the business model responding to a sustained period of organic growth across the business segments and regions; with the completion of the integration of UK activities acquired in 2015, growth in the Americas driven by the retail segment and good operating performance in retail and aviation across all regions.
'With the macro-economic environment improving and our ability to leverage the fully invested platform we have established, I am confident in the business' ability to continue its growth trajectory in 2017.'
Zenith Energy has entered into a strategic alliance with Waypoint Solutions as part of its plan to identify projects for chemical and petrochemical storage, particularly in North America.
The agreement sets out that the parties will collaborate on the development of physical storage and logistics solutions for the petrochemical industry and related markets, which includes terminal, marine, pipeline, rail and truck distribution.
Jeff Armstrong, president and chief executive of Zenith, says: 'This alliance is consistent with our strategy of providing storage solutions to meet the dynamic needs of customers given the future growth of processing and evolving chemical supply chains.'
'This partnership is a natural extension of our business and will allow us to pursue opportunities to service new and existing customers with chemicals storage needs by combining our experience with a proven leader in the field,' says Jay Reynolds, CCO of Zenith.
David Ellis, founder and MD of Waypoint adds: 'This strategic alliance between Waypoint and Zenith is a remarkable opportunity for us to increase the span of Zenith's strategic vision and explore new opportunities in this area of the midstream market.
'Given the positive market development in the North American petrochemical space, we see opportunities to deploy capital and create compelling, customer focused supply chain solutions.'
Saudi Aramco and Shell have finalised the separation and transfer of the Motiva Enterprise joint venture assets.
Under the terms of the agreement, the assets that will be retained by Saudi Aramco's subsidiary Saudi Refining include:
- The Motiva Enterprises name, which will be used to continue operations as a Texas-based refiner, distributor and marketer of petrol, diesel and other petroleum products
- 24 distribution terminals with a total storage capacity of 11.1 million barrels. They support delivery to 5,300 Shell service stations as well as unbranded wholesalers and are used as product storage for third-party customers
- A 600,000 barrel per day refinery at Port Arthur, which also includes a 40,000 barrel per day base oil manufacturing plant
Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, says: 'We fully support Motiva's transition to a stand-alone integrated downstream provider of energy and with its strategic position, I am confident it will enable new opportunities for growth in the US energy sector.
'Saudi Aramco will provide Motiva with the strong financial support and necessary liquidity needed to maintain an investment grade credit rating and capitalise on growth and expansion opportunities to help the company become a highly competitive major downstream player in the US.'
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.
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.
Blueknight Energy Partners is seeking to expand its terminalling networking following stronger operating margins across most of its business segments.
CEO Mark Hurley says that due to the company's solid 2016 results, it was able to make strategic investments in its asphalt terminalling services business segment and that it is working to complete its Oklahoma condensate project to better utilise its Oklahoma crude oil transportation and storage assets.
The company reported its adjusted EBITDA as $69.8 million for 2016 compared to $70.1 million for the same period in 2015. For the three months until the end of December 2016 the company's EBITDA was $17.1 million, compared to $14.1 million for the same period in 2015, an increase of 21%.
Hurley says: 'We were able to make strategic investments in our asphalt terminalling services business segment further strengthening our presence as a terminal-centric, infrastructure-focused company that can provide bulk storage, transportation and terminalling services throughout the US.'
He adds that the company's asphalt products terminalling business continues to perform exceptionally well, with operating margins excluding depreciation and amortilisation increasing by 18% from 2015 to 2016. 'Our asphalt terminalling business is well positioned to take advantage of the increased infrastructure spending we expect to see in the future,' he adds.
'We continue to search for growth opportunities and are looking to expand our terminalling network. We will continue to look to develop additional organic crude oil opportunities both within and outside Oklahoma. We believe our business is well positioned for growth and we believe that our new partnership with Ergon will provide additional access to different opportunities and we are aggressively exploring those as we move forward into 2017.'
American Midstream Partners and JP Energy have successfully completed their previously announced merger.
Following the meeting of JP Energy unitholders, where a majority of them voted in favour of the agreement, American Midstream is now a large, more diversified midstream business operating in leading North American Basin.
The merged partnership will benefit from significantly improved scale and financial flexibility to invest in growth projects, third-party acquisitions and potential drop downs from affiliates of ArcLight Capital Partners.
Lynn Bourdon, president and CEO of American Midstream, says: 'Through this merger, American Midstream will emerge as a stronger company with higher growth, new business opportunities and a stronger financial position.
'This merger allows us to expand our service offerings from the well-head to the end user market. The combined company will have an enhanced growth strategy by offering customers a more comprehensive and competitive suite of services that enables us to capture incremental fee opportunities that strengthen margins and maximise returns to our unitholders.'